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Expert’s choice: Zweigelt

From young and fresh to complex, barrel-aged styles, Zweigelt’s easy appeal makes it Austria’s most widely planted red variety. Here are 18 great examples to seek out.

Austria as a whole is still white wine country, but of the 30% of red vineyards, by far the most widely planted grape is Zweigelt at 6,130ha (figures from Austrian Wine, to end May 2022).

These vineyards are mostly in the regions of Burgenland (2,337ha of Zweigelt) and Niederösterreich (3,478ha); lying within Niederösterreich is the DAC of Carnuntum, which is known for its Zweigelt wines and has 232ha planted.

Other Austrian wine regions besides Burgenland and Niederösterreich account for less than 6% of the country’s total Zweigelt production.

Scroll down for a selection of 18 Zweigelt wines to try

Zweigelt’s ubiquity is perhaps the more surprising as, like Germany’s Müller-Thurgau, it is a crossing – of Blaufränkisch and St Laurent, although fruitier but less elegant than either of its precursors. The grape was created in 1922 by Dr Fritz Zweigelt, who happens to have been a keen Nazi, causing some controversy over its origins.

Tasting notes and scores for 18 Zweigelts to try

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