Berger Zweigelt 2010
The region of considerable geologic diversity and microclimates, Kremstal extends virtually without border east from Wachau along the Danube River. Its magnificent terraced and rocky vineyards in the west alongside Wachau include some of Austria’s most esteemed Riesling vineyards, the (Steiner) Hund and Pfaffenberg, as well as Kögl and Wachtberg nearer to the city of Krems. After Krems, the vineyards become excessively steep upstream around Senftenberg where Riesling and Grüner Veltliner thrive. Grüner Veltliner does best from here east where the soils become a mix of sand, gravel and loess.
Grüner Veltliner and Riesling together comprise two thirds of all of the Kremstal vineyards; the region itself represents about five percent of Austria’s total vineyard area.
Savory, spicy and fresh, this is Austria’s most popular red variety. While native to Austria, it is actually a fairly recent cross, bred by Dr. Zweigelt in 1922. He crossed two native varieties, Blaufränkisch, for its peppery bite, with St. Laurent, chosen for its elegance. Zweigelt can make a charmingly light and fruity, slightly tart and spicy red that’s great in the summer. Look for one-liter bottles to take to an afternoon barbecue. Zweigelt is capable of more serious, age-worthy version as well, which will be concentrated in fresh red and purple berries and boast delicate, autumn spice and pepper aromas. It grows well in various eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia as well as in western Hungary. There are rare occurrences of the vine in some New World countries.