Because Every Toast Should Be With Quality Wine: Introducing Ahtel Wines

Many new ventures start with that moment in time when you realize things are going to change. Our trip to Prague never included a plan to visit local wineries. We honestly figured we’d be drinking beer the entire time. But after arriving in gothic Prague after a drive from Munich, looking at the famed Astrological clock, it was wine that we wanted.  The waiter suggested the the house wine, a local Czech wine. To our surprise, it was quite good - really good. So as we continued our trip, we continued to try the local wines, getting recommendations from any willing waitstaff and were continually delighted. That might have contributed to why Prague has become one of my favorite cities in the world.

As we planned our drive from Prague to Vienna, we realized it took us right through the Czech wine region of Moravia. Was it serendipity? Maybe it was. These opportunistic moments are just one of the reasons travel is so appealing to me - you never know exactly what you’re about to experience. So we decided to hit a couple of wineries along our drive to see just what Czech wine was all about. And we got schooled.

The quality wines produced in Moravia are world-class. Moravian wines, especially their white wines, win over wine giants such as France or Germany. Some whites offer wonderful undertones of spice and a unique mineral earthiness, while wines made from ryzlink rýnský can be beautifully flowery. A Moravian riesling beat more than 1,500 wines to be crowned the world's best white at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition.  Not only were the wines worth the stop, the beauty of the region and of the people really made the whole experience.

The view from the tasting room at Sonberk

The view from the tasting room at Sonberk

Yet there is very little US distribution. Czechs drink more wine than their country can produce, so it is unusual to see these wines outside of their country. So while the quality may be stellar, those of us in the US have yet to be able to enjoy them - unless you happen to travel to Prague.

So that’s when the moment occurred. We looked at each other and both knew that somehow, Czech wine was going to be a part of our lives. Selfishly, it was just the initial thought of having that unique, quality wine at our own homes for friends and family. But as we researched more, the thought of introducing these amazing wines to a broader audience appealed to us. I mean, we are marketers by trade - so spreading the word about a great thing is kind of in our DNA.

The opportunity to introduce these amazing wines to the US is also a great compliment to the Ahtel brand. Ahtel Properties focuses on providing unique, quality lodging accommodations that drive positive experiences for guests. There is a gap in the lodging market where we attempt to fit in. This is the same goal for Ahtel Wines. The ability to bring unique, quality wines to people who will then enjoy them with friends and family while toasting to the new job, celebrating the upcoming wedding, or just enjoying fivesies with those at home, is a great opportunity that we just can’t pass up.

We are excited to be entering this new venture, and to be sharing unique, quality wines for people to build memories and friendships around. As Czech wine expert Petr Ocenasek states,

“Drinking wine on your own is a big mistake. You will only fully understand the wine when you share it with someone else….With wine you can enrich someone else or be enriched by someone else by talking about what’s good about the wine. Only then can you see the beauty of the wine. Wine is a noble drink. The oldest. It has a lot to say. It has a great history. I have a new experience with every glass.”

Na zdraví!

Heidi Wettach