Disznoko of Hungary & AXA Millesimes
together with Culinary Sojourns
presents a hosted wine cruise
Waltz on the Blue Danube
aboard Crystal Ravel
April 28 - May 5, 2019*
Vienna to Vienna
Exclusive Wine Events:
Your cruise aboard Crystal Ravel will be an exciting, educational, and fun opportunity to immerse yourself in some of Europe’s finest wines, the great and ancient cultures of Central Europe, and the foods that make this area of the world famous. Below are the special events that are planned for this most exclusive cruise opportunity for a select group of wine loving cruisers.
Sunday, April 28, 2019 - Vienna, Austria - Afternoon Boarding - Depart 8PM
We sail from one of Europe’s great capitols, Vienna. Laszlo Meszaros, your host aboard, extends an invitation to join together for a “meet and greet” bubbly reception so we may get to know each other and hear about the exciting events to come. You will be served a sparkling wine from Hungary, Kreinbacher Extra Brut made with Somló Furmint and Chardonnay prepared by the méthode traditionelle, aged for a minimum of 22 months in the bottle. Citrus, grapefruit, yeast on the nose with fresh must notes, followed by acacia and grapefruit on the palate. Rich, nicely structured, traditionally fermented sparkling wine in which the delicious 10 grams of sugar provides ideal balance. Lingering finish with minerality and elegant bubbles.
Monday, April 29, 2019 - Esztergom, Hungary to Budapest, Hungary - Arrive 2PM
This evening, upon arrival in Budapest, everyone is invited to join with Laszlo in a traditional Hungarian dinner at, the world famous Halaszbastya restaurant (www.halaszbastya.eu), situated on the cliffs of Buda, overlooking the magnificent Hungarian parliament building . There will be great food, and Gypsy music to accompany this true Hungarian experience. On the way, we will all get a great view of the Budapest riverfront including the amazing parliament building, and the famous Chain Bridge.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - Depart 6PM
One of many highlights of our cruise, today we spend the day in Tokaj. We will board our luxury bus and travel to Hungary’s famous wine producing region and the charming village of Tokaj and the Disznoko Winery located close by.
Your day’s itinerary:
8:00 am departure from Budapest
Tokaj Wine Region is 155 miles from Budapest, located in the north-eastern part of Hungary. It takes just 2.5 hours arriving to this marvelous area driving across the Great Hungarian Plain.
10:00am arrival at Disznoko Estate
Acclaimed as one of the three most favorable sites for Aszu in Tokaj, the Disznoko estate is a single tract of land set in 250 acres. First Growth since 1732 and part of the World Heritage Site of Tokaj since 2002, the Disznoko vineyards have always been sought-after due to their supreme quality.
Welcome drink and canape at Belvedere.
Belvedere was build in the middle of the XIX Century. A beautiful point atop the vineyards where you will enjoy the stunning vistas overlooking the wine region and the estate.
11:00am Visit at Disznoko Estate
A splendid opportunity to become better acquainted with the stunning site of Disznoko and its terroir, its unique vinification and its outstanding wines. Take a walk in the vineyards then tour the winery and learn about the processing of the grapes and wine making.
Tasting of Disznoko Wines
The tasting presents the Disznoko wines from the fresh and mineral dry wines, through the popular late harvest wines to reach the legendary Aszu wines of Tokaj.
12:15pm Lunch at Sarga Borhaz
Disznoko’s restaurant, among the best in the region, invites you for a traditional Hungarian 3-course luncheon (www.sargaborhaz.hu)
After lunch we will visit the Town of Tokaj and Rakoczi Cellar with a glass of wine & snack. Tokaj is one of the most charming towns in the region with a long history. Thanks to the old houses and narrow streets you can imagine yourself in a small romantic town from the past. The two rivers and the Kopaza-hill just make it more attractive.
The Rakoczi Cellar was built at the beginning of the 15th Century, was owned by kings, sovereigns, princes and generals. During your excursion in Tokaj town, you can visit the imposing knight’s hall in the main square, which is the largest underground hall of this wine region.
3:00 PM Depart from Tokaj.
5:15 PM Arrival to Budapest. Ship Sails at 6:00PM
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - Bratislava, Slovakia - Arrive 1PM - Depart 6PM
This evening an invitation to join a wonderful wine tasting experience of Disznoko wines, led by Laszlo. The wines served will set a new standard of luxury on-board a river cruise. The selected wines are some of the very best produced at Disznoko, from some of the best vintages.
DisznokoTokaji Dry – Furmint
Disznoko Tokaji Late Harvest
Disznoko 1413 Tokaji Edes Szamorodni
Disznoko Aszu 5 Puttonyos – two different vintages for two different experiences
Disznoko Aszu 6 Puttonyos
The Tokaj grape varieties, the development of Botrytis Cinerea, our incredibly labor intensive harvest and the unusual vinification method for these stunning wines will be revealed to you during this tasting…a superb immersion ending with the tasting of two wines from their Aszu collection: the two 5 puttonyos and the 6 puttonyos. Laszlo will explain the meaning of “puttonyos”.
Thursday, May 2, 2019 - Danube Scenic Cruising - Arrive to Melk, Austria 4PM - Depart 7PM - Final Stop Spitz, Austria - Arrive 8PM
Then at this evening's dinner hour, we are all invited to attend the AXA Millesimes paired dinner featuring great foods paired with the “Grand Cru” wines to be presented. This is usually the high point of any cruise experience and gives the ship's chefs a great opportunity to be really creative.
Aperitif – Kreinbacher Extra Brut
The AXA Millesimes wineries are:
Chateau Suduiraut-Sauterne, France
S de Suduiraut dry white wine
Situated near Chateau d'Yquem, the expansive 200 hectare Sauternes vineyard of Chateau Suduiraut has 92 hectares under vine. The terroir is mostly gravel, sand, limestone and clay soils. The vineyard of Chateau Suduiraut is planted to 90 % Semillion and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. There is a limited amount of Sauvignon Gris planted in the vineyard as well. The vines average 30 years of age and are planted to a vine density of 7,000 vines per hectare. To produce the wine of Chateau Suduiraut, vinification takes place in French oak barrels. The wine is aged on its lees in 50% new French oak barrels for 18-24 months, depending on the character of the vintage.
Quinta do Noval-Porto, Portugal
Touriga Nacional Duoro red- this wine expresses above all the delicate floral aromatic quality of this emblematic grape variety. A grape that is particularly suited to the terroir of Quinta do Noval where it has long been the key element in our great Vintage Ports and blended red Douro wines. This wine reveals all the delicate purity and freshness of a truly noble grape variety.
Chateau Pichon Baron, Pauillac, The Medoc, France
Our Grand Vin Château Pichon Baron Longueville, classified as a 2nd Grand Cru Classé in 1855, is made with grapes from the oldest vines on the estate’s historic plots. This quintessential Pauillac offers an intense and profound sensory experience of great complexity. Château Pichon Baron exhibits elegance, intensity and exceptional length on the palate. It is a wine that improves year after year and can age for over 40 years in the cellar. The opportunity to experience wines of the caliber, creates a true luxury voyage few will ever experience.
Disznoko, Mad, Hungary
Our dinner finishes with yet another extraordinary vintage of the Disznoko 5 Puttonyos sweet wine. What a fitting conclusion to a memorable dinner and wine extravaganza!
Friday, May 3, 2019 - 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM Spitz, Austria
At 8:30 am we meet on the pier and board our private coach to be transported to Weingut Nikolaihof Wachau; the oldest wine estate in Austria stretching back to Roman times. The Wachau area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and place of origin of some of the best white wines in the world. This area boasts one are the most beautiful and peaceful river landscapes in all of Europe. The Saahs family operates the Weingut Nikolaihof Wachau in accordance with the regulations of the Demeter Association, the strict control system in bio-dynamic farming. i.e., no herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. We will tour this fascinating winery, with its cellar originally a Roman crypt; and, taste these famed award winning wines. FYI. . .Weingut Nikolaihof Wachau has been awarded 97 to 99 Points by Robert Parker over the years for Nikolaifhof Nikolauswein Trocken Beerenauslese. In addition, they make 92 to 93 Point rated Gruner Vertliner. So, it's pretty clear, our morning taste buds are in for a real treat! After our visit and tasting, we will be returned to our ship to continue our voyage on the Danube.
Arrive to Krems, Austria 2:00 PM
This evening, after dinner, Laszlo has prepared a truly remarkable experience that will entertain our palate’s as never before. We will participate in a wine tasting of the world’s most famous sweet wines and 3 of the world’s greatest makers of those wines. This will be opportunity to taste these wines after dinner, and compare which wines you may consider your personal favorite. As always, we each will have our own tastes; but, we will bet that you have never been given the chance to savoir these wonderful wines all at the same time!
Two different vintages of the same wine so you may compare “what a difference a year makes”.
Disznoko Aszu 6 Puttonyos
Disznoko Eszencia – one of the most precious elixirs in the world, it’s almost impossible to buy
Quinta do Noval:
Quinta do Noval 20 Year Old Tawny Port
Quinta Noval LBV Unfiltered Port
Saturday, May 4, 2019 - Arrive Vienna 7AM
Today Ravel returns us to Vienna. This would be a great day to see the wonderful sights of Vienna... the Palaces, the Museums, the Parks and the great shopping streets. All are within walking distance of the famous "Ring Road". After this cruise you can bet your wine knowledge will be greatly enhanced, your taste buds will be treated to some of the finest foods available anywhere in Central Europe, and you will have made wonderful new friends and memories to carry with you back home. And, the full knowledge of how Tokaj was historically called "the Wine of Kings."
Sunday, May 5, 2019 - Vienna, Austria - Disembark AM