The Schlumberger winery in the Vienna suburb is the oldest sparkling wine cellar in Austria. This romantic maze several kilometers long combines innovation and tradition in a fascinating way. The cellar, which has three centuries of life, was enlarged to its current size by the knight Karl von Ghega, the builder of the well-known Semmering railway. Several million bottles of these treasures with golden reflections rest here, protected from the darkness. During a visit through this "magical" space where the characteristic bubbles of Schlumberger sparkling wine are born, visitors will be able to try shaking the bottles of sparkling wine, learn interesting details on the "méthode traditionnelle" and taste the Austrian response to champagne.
The history of the Schlumberger family business begins with Robert Alwin Schlumberger, born in Stuttgart in 1814. After the untimely death of his father, Robert was forced to abandon his studies and become a merchant. Arrived in the city of Reims in the Champagne region of France, he began working at the Ruinart Pere et Fils Champagne winery until he became the production manager.
The meeting with the Viennese girl Sophie Kirchner during a boat trip on the Rhine, made a turning point in her life. It was the beginning of a love story and they decided to get married. But Sophie's parents were against her moving to Germany and therefore Robert decides to follow her to live in Austria. Schlumberger rented the vineyards on the "Goldeck in Maital" in the city of Bad Vöslau and thus founded his company.
Just two years after the factory started, they presented the first bottle of sparkling wine called "Vöslauer Weiber Schaumwein" (White Sparkling Wine from Vöslau). Bunches of Blauer Portugieser from the Goldeck farm provided the basis for the bubbles produced with the traditional method. In 1859, after winning several international awards, the "Vöslauer Goldeck" brand became the first protected brand in Austria.
The fame went up to the London exhibition of 1862, when Schlumberger's "Sparkling Vöslauer" was served to Her Majesty the Queen. Returning home to Vienna, Schlumberger's "Champagner" became a refined product and was subsequently designated as the official supplier of the Royal and Imperial House of Austria-Hungary.
During the mid-nineteenth century, Schlumberger also became a pioneering producer of still red wine. Robert Schlumberger imported the classic red berry vines from Holland and was the first to plant them in Austria. In this field, he was the first to plant and cultivate French noble vines, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in France.
Vöslauer Sparkling became the favorite drink of the Viennese society's elite. In 1878, Robert Alwin Schlumberger was officially named a knight with the noble title of "Edler von Goldeck".
Four generations and two world wars later, the founder's great-grandson sold his participation in the family winery to the German group Underberg, who is now in his fifth generation.
Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren carried on the family business. Today, the headquarters are located in the suburb of Vienna-Döbling, where visitors can enjoy the luxury of getting lost in the ancient labyrinths of the cellar and taste the different types of golden bubbles together with the most authentic specialties of Viennese gastronomy. The most used grape varieties are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, coming from the farms: "Hupfenberg", "Oberkirchen" and the famous "Goldeck" kept in elegant bottles of sparkling wine such as Dom, Gold or the very white White Dry.