Published by Sally on June 1, 2009

The main black grape variety of Austria, comprising 8% of plantings.

A 1922 crossing of blaufränkisch and sankt laurent, by Dr. Fritz Zweigelt.

An early ripening, vigorous variety, so strict yield control is essential for quality production.

Can be made as a single varietal or blended, and in a full spectrum of styles.

Dark, purple colour, fruity, spicy aromas of cherry and berry fruit. Soft tannins, moderate to low acidity, bit of spice.

Andi Kollwentz of Weingut Kollwentz on zweigelt: “purple colour, darker, opaque in youth, softer tannins, blackberry aroma. Plummy when overripe and with a little noble rot. Powerful body, elegant, not too strong tannins. Not too spicy, round and elegant.  ‘the Austrian merlot’, early ripening, alcohol 13-14%. Difficult to comment on ageing of zweigelt, as it is often used in blends especially in the top ranges.”

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