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Zweigelt grapes

Zweigelt is a red grape variant created by crossing the Blaufrankisch grape and Saint Laurent grape, exclusively used in the process of red wine making.

In fact, this grape variety is so popular, in practically every grape region of Austria this grape is cultivated with the best grape coming from the Burgenland region, particularly Neusiedlersee of Austria.

The classic Austrian Zweigelt wine is a rich, deep coloured wine having a bright core of raspberry and cherry flavours with a tinge of spice to top it up.

Wine grape varieties

These wines taste good after ageing, with the finest ones being aged for more than a decade in the cellar.

However, the majority of the commercially produced wines have a very less ageing period with them being consumed within five years of release.

History of Zweigelt

Zweigelt grape is a cross between Saint Laurent and Blaufränkisch grape varieties and was created by Dr Friedrich Zweigelt (Fritz) in the year 1922.

After creating this grape, he called it Rotburger, since the birth place of this grape was Klosterneuburg.

However the problem was, people often confused this grape with Rotberger which was a distinct variety developed at the same time in the region of Geisenheim in Germany.

Only in the year 1970 this issue got resolved thanks to the influential winemaker Lenz Moser, who was a pioneer in the wine making industry of Austria.

When Mr. Zweigelt was looking a cultivate a new variant, what he was looking at ways to create a variety of grape having a good colour, would be a good grape bearer and showing disease resistance.

When Mr. Zweigelt was looking a cultivate a new variant, what he was looking at ways to create a variety of grape having a good colour, would be a good grape bearer and showing disease resistance.

While Mr. Zweigelt was successful in creating a successful grape variety; which was resistant to diseases, frost and drought, the grape tasted nowhere close to Blaufrankisch or Saint Laurent.

In fact the grape was a spicy luscious fruit which not only lacked the lactic texture of the Saint Laurent grape, but also did not possess the occasional stiff notes of Blaufrankisch.

Regions where Zweigelt is grown

This grape is grown in practically all the regions of Austria. This variety is grown in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia and parts of Canada like the Okanagan Valley.

This grape is also grown in some parts of Japan and England.

Austria, the variety is now becoming popular in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia. Small-scale plantings have also been trialed further afield, in Canada, Japan and England.

Viticulture of Zweigelt

Zweigelt grape has a circular to a pentagonal leaf having 3 to 5 lobes Leaf: Circular to pentagonal, three to five lobes.

These grapes grow in clusters which are compact, medium sized and cylindrical having wings, which are round having a black or a blue coloured grape.

These vines are really good when it comes to budding and ripening. These grapes have a budding season, which is later than that of Saint Laurent and a ripening season earlier than that of Blaufrankisch.

Characteristics of Zweigelt Wine

Zweigelt grape flourishes as a mono variety and blends really well with French wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot along with Blaufrankisch. Zweigelt grapes; is used to make a sweet wine in various forms.

The world’s most costly wine is made from the Zweigelt grapes and is either strohwein which is made from dry grapes, or from the ice wine.

Zweigelt wines have a bright colour giving out Pinot like aromas of cherry and blackberry. These wines seem very silky and elegant having a certain amount of spiciness along with a good amount of acidity.

Zweigelt wines give out colours which are deep and purplish with a tinge of crimson into it. The best wines are those wines which have a dark broody appearance and appear richly coloured.

However, due to this desire of high levels of colours, wine growers tend to overgrow this grape which makes wines having an excellent colour, but often lacks the flavourful punch as the wines are diluted in flavours and colours.

Aromas and Flavours of Zweigelt

On the nose this wine gives out aromas of violet hues and red fruits along with smoke, black cherry and baking spices. On the palate, it gives out the flavours of dark fruits, tobacco and smoke.

Food Pairing with Zweigelt

Mustard greens with a smoked tomato sauce, grilled vegetables with mustard are some of the dishes that go well with this wine

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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