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Pfaffl Austrian Cherry Zweigelt 2010
For close to 40 years, the Pfaffls have been ambassadors for highquality Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Chardonnay, Zweigelt, and St. Laurent.
In just under 20 years Roman Pfaffl ambitiously grew a little farm with less than 2 acres of vines into a nearly 50 acre wine estate, meandering through 10 villages throughout Weinvertel.
The Pfaffl family’s greatest strength is family unity. The family focuses on crafting impeccable wines that reflect authentic Austrian terroir through their depth, minerality, and balance. Everyone plays a fulfilling role in which they can evolve. Roman Josef Pfaffl is the winemaker, and his sister Heidi Fischer oversees the commercial side. Father Roman Pfaffl looks after the vineyards and mother Adelheid watches over the newest generation.
Appreciated for superior wines made from indigenous varieties, Austria should be on the radar of any curious wine drinker. A rather cool and dry wine growing region, this country produces wine that is quintessentially European in style: food-friendly with racy acidity, moderate alcohol and fresh fruit flavors.
Austria’s viticultural history is rich and vast, dating back to Celtic tribes with first written record of winemaking starting with the Romans. But the 20th century brought Austria a series of winemaking obstacles, namely the plunder of both world wars, as well as its own self-imposed quality breach. In the mid 1980s, after a handful of shameless vintners were found to have added diethylene glycol (a toxic substance) to their sweet wines to imitate the unctuous qualities imparted by botrytis, Austria’s credibility as a wine-producing country was compromised. While no one was harmed, the incident forced the country to rebound and recover stronger than ever. By the 1990s, Austria was back on the playing field with exports and today is prized globally for its quality standards and dedication to purity and excellence.
Grüner Veltliner, known for its racy acidity and herbal, peppery aromatics, is Austria's most important white variety, comprising nearly a third of Austrian plantings. Riesling in Austria is high in quality but not quantity, planted on less than 5% of the country’s vineyard land. Austrian Rieslings are almost always dry and are full of bright citrus flavors and good acidity. Red varietal wines include the tart and peppery Zweigelt, spicy and dense Blaufränkisch and juicy Saint Laurent. These red varieties are also sometimes blended.
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, balancing 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 and there are rare occurrences of the vine in some New World countries.