Description 1 of 2

Name of varietal: Zweigelt

Common synonyms: Rotburger, Blauer Zweigelt

Parentage of the grape: Blaufrankish, Sankt Laurent

History of the grape:  Zweigelt was created in 1922 by Fritz Zweigelt at the Institute of Viticulture and Pomology in Klosterneuberg, Austria. It was originally called Rotburger after an area in its home town, but to put an end with confusion over Rotberger, another cross-grape, oenologist Lenz Moser changed its name to Zweigelt in 1975. It was cultivated to create a native Austrian red grape that would be full-bodied, easy to plant, adaptable to cooler local weather conditions and resistant to disease.  The result is a successful, full-flavored and well-structured grape that has become a national favorite that crossed over to other regions with favorable, cool-climate growing conditions.

Characteristics of the grape: medium to full-bodied, deep red, firm tannins, spicy, red plums, red cherry, black pepper, slightly acidic.

Regions where the grape is currently important: Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Canada

Type or types of wines the grape produces: dry red

– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 2 of 2

(aka. Blauer Zweigelt, Klosterneuburg 71, Rotburger, Zweigeltrebe)

This relatively recent cross of St-Laurent with Blaufrankisch displays the body and acidic nature of these parents respectively. Widely grown in Austria, where it was developed and is now that country’s most popular dark-skinned grape, Zweigelt ripens earlier than Blaufrankisch, but buds later than St. Laurent. This combination produces liberal yields. Zweigelt is said to be amongst the most cold-hardy (vinifera) varieties and its ability to create good red wines with some aging ability is catching the attention of cold climate growers outside of Eastern Europe. The grape is also gaining popularity in Canada. The winery on Pelee Island, Ontario blends it with Gamay and at least one producer in Nova Scotia has faith in the variety to produce deeply pigmented full bodied reds.

You may be the big winner in Vienna's casino vineyards, but in North America, your bizarre name may be too long shot a bet for the high-rollers in marquee appellations. But wait, those gambling vigneron of the cooler climes are used to playing against the odds and at least a few are staking their bets to you in hope that your name really does translate to "Double Your Money". – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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