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American Dream Wine
Schlumberger Extra Brut
1996 Vintages receives
5 Stars & Stripes - Award

The Ultimate Award:
Seven Stars and Stripes ™
Near to the city center on Heiligenstädter Straße 43 not far from the beautiful blue Danube River, we had been invited by winery manager Peter Höller to discover the cellars and sample the fine products of the Schlumberger Sektkellerei.
Champagne - Made in Austria

After this first glimpse into the rich history of the capital of Austria we were keen to explore another diamond of Viennese lifestyle - The Schlumberger Winery. While we had our first opportunity to taste the Cuveé Klimt in the City Tavern in Philadelphia we were keen to follow the Schlumberger history with its unique roots to Reims in France the heart of the Champagne.

We were told that the founder Robert Schlumberger, an Aristocrat from Goldeck, began his career in Reims (France) at the oldest Champagne Cellar Ruinart Père et Fils. After returning to Vienna and grounding Schlumberger in 1842, he started to produce sparkling wine according to the traditional ‘Méthode Champenoise’, the knowledge of which he had acquired while in France. "A row of experiments using Austrian wine brought us to realize that it would be possible to produce sparkling wine in such a manner that it could truly compete with Champagne.” (Robert Schlumberger)
The special selection of Austrian wines and the use of the “Méthode Traditionnelle” guarantees a high level of agreeability. At Schlumberger, close attention is paid to ensuring the highest quality. Beginning already with the careful selection of the grapes, the comprehensive quality management system has led Schlumberger to be the first certified Sparkling winery (ISO 9002) in the German-speaking world. Since 1994, Schlumberger has been able to boast this accomplishment.

During our well-presented tour through the Wine Cellar, which allows you to walk for several miles under the city of Vienna; we were deeply impressed by the effort behind the production of the top of Austrian Sparkling Wines.

The making of the Cuvée, or blending (French-Assemblage), of the various wines and vintages requires much experience from the vintners and the oenologists.
The goal is, of course, to ensure Schlumberger a high standard of quality and achieve the unique individual taste that the consumer recognizes by blending exactly the right amounts of the wine varieties. By fortifying the Cuvée with liqueur de ‘tirage’ and selected yeasts, for which Schlumberger has a patent to use, the wine goes through a second fermentation. The selected yeast causes important side effects during the aging process and positively influences the aroma.

The Cuvées are now filled into the bottles and the second fermentation begins, in which the yeast and sugar eventually change to alcohol and carbon dioxide.
The bottles are then stored in the kilometer-long vaults at a constant temperature of 11° Celsius for at least 18 months. The Cuvée matures and the Schlumberger achieves the unmistakeable bouquet and mousseux.
Once the shaking is completed, the yeast settles on the cork. The sparkling wine is now crystal clear and pure. From now on, the bottles will be stored upside-down.
The sparkling wine is now on its way to being completed.
The bottles are racked, meaning that they are taken from the riddling area and stored closely together upside-down.
They will remain this way until it is time for the next step.
There is punt on the bottom of the bottle, which is an indentation that helps keep the cork in the bottle.
The next step, after the fermentation in the bottle, shaking, and racking, is the step of disgorging.
This is a process only used in the “Méthode Traditionnelle”.
The neck of the bottle is placed upside-down into an ice bath for several minutes until the yeast sediment (lees) clumps. Utilizing the pressure of the sparkling wine, the lees is spun out of the bottle.
The clear wine begins to foam, as perhaps expected, but not out of the bottle, since the carbon-dioxide is molecularly bound due to the low temperature. The sparkling wine is freed of the lees particles and it now crystal clear.
Within the 24 days of bottle fermentation the "Kellermeister" manually has to turn 30.000 - 40.000 bottles each day.

Each bottle has a little white mark on its bottom, which indicates the progress of the turning process inch by inch.
After the disgorging process, dosage liqueur is added to the sparkling wine. This determines the sweetness (e.g. dry, semi-dry) of the Schlumberger. The dosage consists of wine and sugar. The level of sugar determines the taste. Dry sparkling (Extra Brut) contains no dosage. The exact composition of the dosage is a well-kept secret of Schlumberger.
The Schlumberger Wine Selection:

Schlumberger Sparkling Brut
Grape variety: Welschriesling

Schlumberger Extra Brut 1996 Vintage
Grape variety: Welschriesling

Schlumberger Sparkling Brut 1998 Vintage
Grape variety: Welschriesling

Schlumberger Chardonnay 1998 Vintage
Grape Variety: Chardonnay

Schlumberger Blanc de Noirs
Grape Variety: Blauer Burgunder (Pinot Noir)

Schlumberger Cuvée Klimt
Grape variety: Welschriesling

Schlumberger Rosé 1998 Vintage
Grape variety: Blauer Burgunder
We are convinced that a process this unique, which produces a wine of such a high caliber, will announce its presence to the world in a fashion consistent with the greatest champagnes now on the market. Schlumberger is reaching for the stars, one bottle at a time!
Servus Austria !

Rolf Stähler & John Lomitola

Editor-in-Chief: Ingrid Lemme

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Although the above information was accurate at the time of publication, it can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all pertinent information with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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