First wine of the year celebrated at Austrian ‘Heurigen’ festival

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(l-r) GM Rene Pisters, Pastor Philip Adisak Phorn-Ngam, Anselma and Gerrit Niehaus, Father Michael Weera Pangrak, Gerhard and Eufrosina Götz, Mayuree and Gottfried Auer, Elfi Seitz and Deputy Mayor Apichart Virapal.
(l-r) GM Rene Pisters, Pastor Philip Adisak Phorn-Ngam, Anselma and Gerrit Niehaus, Father Michael Weera Pangrak, Gerhard and Eufrosina Götz, Mayuree and Gottfried Auer, Elfi Seitz and Deputy Mayor Apichart Virapal.

Austrians celebrated the first wine of the year at a musical charity fundraiser at the Thai Garden Resort.

Newly appointed Austrian Consul General Gerhard Gotz and his wife Eufrosia were the guests of honor at the Aug. 10 “heurigen abend” event also attended by Austrian Honorary Consul General Rudolf Hofer, German Bundestag member Thomas Stritzl, and Thai Austrian Society (TAS) president Gottfried Auer.

Thai Garden Resort CEO Gerrit Niehaus and his wife Anselma welcome Deputy Mayor Apichart Virapal (right).
Thai Garden Resort CEO Gerrit Niehaus and his wife Anselma welcome Deputy Mayor Apichart Virapal (right).

“Heurigen” means young wine from the first grape harvest of the year and takes place in Vienna, Austria’s eastern Burgenland state and the Wachau Valley. Food and drink were plentiful, though, at this unique Thailand event.

Traditionally, music at such events is violin and zither, but accommodations had to be made for the Thai location and the Thai Austrian Society flew in Tiroler Festtags Blaeser, a group of seven “strappers” from Tyrol. Gerrit Niehaus owner of the Thai Garden Resort kindly hosted them during their stay in Pattaya.

The hotel also didn’t charge an admission for the event, only asking that 250 guests pay for the hotel’s normal 399-baht buffet.

Proudly waiving an Austrian flag, Elfi Seitz accompanied by two lovely little girls in Dirndl-dresses led the musicians into the festival grounds.

In addition to the Austrian band, eight children from the Child Protection & Development Center performed a “bandltanz” dance before the charity raffle.

Gottfried Auer, (2nd right) president of the Thai Austrian Society (TAS) presents an honorary membership to Gerritt Niehaus (right) while the lovely Anselma Niehaus (2nd left) receives a bouquet from Elfi Seitz.
Gottfried Auer, (2nd right) president of the Thai Austrian Society (TAS) presents an honorary membership to Gerritt Niehaus (right) while the lovely Anselma Niehaus (2nd left) receives a bouquet from Elfi Seitz.

Outgoing Austrian Ambassador Enno Drofenik donated five sets of Swarovski jewelry and 25,000 baht in tickets were sold, with proceeds going to the Human Help Network Thailand. HHN Director Radchada Chomjinda also donated 40 tickets to upcoming concert at the Pattaya Orphanage as door prizes.

Austrian Consul General Gerhard Goetz meets Deputy Mayor Apichart Virapal.
Austrian Consul General Gerhard Goetz meets Deputy Mayor Apichart Virapal.
One president and two consuls: (l-r) Gottfried Auer with wife Mayuree, Consul General Gerhard Goetz and wife Eufrosina, and Honorary Consul General Rudolf Hofer.
One president and two consuls: (l-r) Gottfried Auer with wife Mayuree, Consul General Gerhard Goetz and wife Eufrosina, and Honorary Consul General Rudolf Hofer.
The winner of the main prize, Werner Kubesch (left) is all smiles while receiving a Swarovski watch from Deputy Mayor Apichart Virapal.
The winner of the main prize, Werner Kubesch (left) is all smiles while receiving a Swarovski watch from Deputy Mayor Apichart Virapal.
Taking a break from the MC’s job, Peter Malhotra welcomes good friends Rita and Paolo Battaglino.
Taking a break from the MC’s job, Peter Malhotra welcomes good friends Rita and Paolo Battaglino.
Hannah and Vanessa, two pretty HHNFT Volunteers from Germany and Austria.
Hannah and Vanessa, two pretty HHNFT Volunteers from Germany and Austria.
Elfi Seitz leads the lively parade onto the festive stage.
Elfi Seitz leads the lively parade onto the festive stage.
Radchada Chomjinda (2nd left) stands proudly next to the young ‘Bandltanz’ dancers and their trainers after their tremendous performance.
Radchada Chomjinda (2nd left) stands proudly next to the young ‘Bandltanz’ dancers and their trainers after their tremendous performance.
Deputy Mayor Apichart Virapal chats with Peter Malhotra.
Deputy Mayor Apichart Virapal chats with Peter Malhotra.
Peter Malhotra was an outstanding MC again.
Peter Malhotra was an outstanding MC again.
Radchada Chomjinda (left) thanks all guests for their generosity while buying raffle tickets, and introduces the new helpers of the HHNFT.
Radchada Chomjinda (left) thanks all guests for their generosity while buying raffle tickets, and introduces the new helpers of the HHNFT.
Radchada Chomjinda (2nd left) stands proudly next to the young ‘Bandltanz’ dancers and their trainers after their tremendous performance.
Radchada Chomjinda (2nd left) stands proudly next to the young ‘Bandltanz’ dancers and their trainers after their tremendous performance.