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AUSTRIA - 2021-02-11

Rarely is deep thought given to a good wine to accompany a solid meal or a hearty snack. Very often sounding names have been put on wine lists or by gourmets. Rarely does the gourmet become aware of the story behind the wine glass. We want to change this a little with the Austrian success story of the red wine: ZWEIGELT.

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Good Wines and great Stories behind this industry full of history.
Photo: Lefteris Kallergis by Unsplash

The variety, a new breed from two autochthonous Austrian grape varieties, is now the most widespread red wine variety in Austria.


As early as the 1950s, Lenz Moser recognised the suitability of the variety "Blaufränkisch x St. Laurent" for the cultivation form of high culture and henceforth endeavoured to name it after its breeder, Friedrich Zweigelt, as he considered the designation "Blaufränkisch x St. Laurent" to be too long.


The official name "Zweigeltrebe Blau" first appeared in 1972 in the then new vine variety register for quality wines. In 1978, the variety name was changed to "Blauer Zweigelt" and the synonym "Rotburger" was created. This was to emphasise the common origin of the new varieties Blauburger, Goldburger and Rotburger/Blauer Zweigelt.


The cultivation area of this grape variety with over 6400 hectares is the largest in Austria. In addition, this grape is also cultivated in smaller areas in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary and is enjoying increasing popularity in the latter countries both in cultivation and consumption.


The wines are rich in substance, fruity and have a violet-reddish colour. The bouquet often has vanilla aromas and soft tannins in the finish, with a characteristic sour cherry aroma when young.


Such wines are only achieved with yield regulation, professional vinification and ageing (for example in barrique barrels), which gives them a long shelf life. This grape is vinified both as a single variety and as a blending partner in cuvées. If the yield is too high, the wines become thin, light red in colour and unharmonious in taste.


All in all, a perfect companion to almost all dishes or occasions where the wine should be there but not dominate.