Zweigelt is a black grape from Austria
Zweigelt is a high yielding variety which makes it popular among wine growers. However, as with most varieties, it needs to be pruned during the growth season if you want to have high quality grapes to harvest. Acidity levels are medium or just above, tannins tend to be just under medium level.
Aromas and flavours are of cherry, black current, and some spiciness. Wines tend to be pleasant to drink but they can also lack of character if not vinified by an experienced wine maker. The wines however are not in the heavyweight class, but rather one class lower.
The best expressions of dry varietal Zweigelt wines you find in the grapes’ heartland Niederosterriech (Lower Austria), and Burgenland. Look for wines from the Neusiedlersee, Carnuntum, and Lehitaberg districts.
Suggestions for excellent food pairing with a dry varietal Zweigelt wine is grilled pork or lamb kebab, a beef stew, or a steak. The wine is best served at 14-16°C/57-61°F.
Where is it grown?
Zweigelt is a rather small variety on a world-wide scale, even if it is reported to be planted in thirteen countries. In Austria, most plantings are in Niederosterriech (Lower Austria), and Burgenland.
In Hungary, it is planted in all regions with no region sticking out in terms of acreage. In the Czech Republic, most plantings are reported from the Morava region. In Japan, most plantings are found in Hokkaido.
- Austria 6.412 ha/15,844 ac (an increase with 47%), MPG 2, PTPA 14%
- Hungary 2.050 ha/5,067 av (a decrease with 10%), MPG 10, PTPA 3%
- Czech Rep 811 ha/2,004 ac (an increase with 79%), MPG 7, PTPA 5%
- Japan 231 ha/571 ac, MPG 6, PTPA 6%
Plantings from 123 to 1 ha/304 to 2.4 ac, are reported from (in order of decreasing acreage): Croatia, Slovakia, Germany, Romania, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, and United Kingdom.
Zweigelt’s history is well-known. It was created in 1922 by prof. dr. Friedrich Zweigelt as a crossing between the two Austrian varieties Saint Laurent with Blaufrankisch.