Austria Chapitre
Dürnstein, October 10, 2020
Stricter COVID-19 rules disrupted planning
" members and guests were delighted to attend the Chapitre at Dürnstein in the Wachau "

Stricter COVID-19-rules for events announced at short notice meant that the number of participants had to be reduced for organisational reasons. The lucky 50 members and guests were delighted to attend the Chapitre at Dürnstein in the Wachau.

Well known for its white wines and apricots, the “Wachau Cultural Landscape” has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000 in recognition of its architectural and agricultural history.

The Induction Ceremony in the impressive banquet hall of Dürnstein Abbey was presided over by Bailli Délégué Norbert Simon in his capacity as a Member of the Conseil d'Administration representing President Atallah.

Norbert offered an insight into the origins, history and values of the Chaîne as well as the Ordre Mondial. Then 30 plus members received awards, were promoted or inducted in compliance with the current COVID-19-safety regulations.

As a surprise, Roman Keller, the long-serving Conseiller Culinaire Provincial of Vienna - who is now Honoraire - was presented with the Chaîne’s Bronze Medal. An active supporter of the Bailliage for 45 years Roman is Managing Director of the Schweizerhaus. [Ed. literally Swiss house, it is a Viennese restaurant rich in tradition and inseparably linked with the Prater, a large public area and park in the Leopoldstadt district of Vienna.]

After the Induction Ceremony guests were invited to a vin d’honneur in the courtyard of the Abbey where Grüner Veltliner Kaiserberg 2019 ‘Federspiel’ and Zweigelt Rosé 2019 ‘Federspiel’ from the Domaine Wachau winery were served.

A guided tour of the former Augustinian Canons Abbey with its “Discovery of the Valuable” exhibition was also very well received. The tour made possible unusual access to the Abbey with the Blue Tower on the banks of the Danube.

The planned Gala Dinner at the Hotel Schloss Dürnstein unfortunately fell victim to the COVID-19 legal requirements and the strict rules for events that are enshrined in them. Nevertheless, some members were very lucky and had a great surprise. As guests of the hotel they enjoyed a champagne reception courtesy of our supporting partner Champagne Vranken-Pommery and a six-course dinner.

After dinner Norbert Simon presented the Bailliage’s Commemorative Plate for Special Gastronomic Services to Maître Hôtelier Christian Thiery.

Special thanks went to the organisers. It was agreed that a particularly friendly Chapitre had been enjoyed.
Vive la Chaîne!

Gerhard Gerlza