Zweigelt

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Zweigelt
Grape (Vitis)
Traubenwelke Zweigelt.JPG
Zweigelt grapes with signs of withering
Color of berry skinNoir
SpeciesVitis vinifera
Also calledBlauer Zweigelt, Rotburger
OriginKlosterneuburg, Austria
Original pedigreeSt. Laurent & Blaufränkisch
Notable regionsAustria
VIVC number13484
Zweigelt from Hungary

The Zweigelt is a new Austrian hybrid created in 1922 by Friedrich Zweigelt (1888–1964), who later became Director of the Federal Institute and Experimental Station of Viticulture, Fruit Production and Horticulture (1938–1945). It comprises a crossing between St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch.

Wine regions[edit]

Widely planted in Austria, Zweigelt vines have made inroads in the Canadian wine regions of Ontario's Niagara Peninsula and of British Columbia, with limited plantings in Hungary. In the Czech Republic it is known as Zweigeltrebe and is the third-most widely planted red-grape variety, comprising approximately 4.7% of total vineyards.[1] It grows in most of the wine regions in Slovakia. As of 2010, newly established Belgian and Polish vineyards have also started to plant Zweigelt. As of 2014, Washington state U.S.A. has several small plantings (only a few acres) of Zweigelt, including Wilridge Winery[2] and Perennial Vintners[3].

Naming and Synonyms[edit]

Zweigelt is also known as Rotburger (not to be confused with Rotberger), Zweigeltrebe, and Blauer Zweigelt.

Lenz Moser recognised the suitability of the “Blaufränkisch x St. Laurent” variety for high-trained vines as early as the 1950s. Moser considered the designation “Blaufränkisch x St. Laurent” to be too long, and from this point onwards argued that the crossing should be named after its original grower, Friedrich Zweigelt.[4] By 1958, the naming process had reached a stage at which it could no longer be stopped.[5]

The official designation “Zweigeltrebe Blau” appeared for the first time in 1972, when the new Grape Variety Index for Qualitätsweine (Quality Wines) was launched.[6] The name of the variety was altered to “Blauer Zweigelt” in 1978, and the synonym “Rotburger” was created at the same time[7]. The aim here was to make it clear that the new cultivations of Blauburger, Goldburger and Rotburger/Blauer Zweigelt all shared a common origin.[8] No evidence can be found to support the widespread assertion that Zweigelt himself had applied the designation “Rotburger” to his new variety.

“Rotburger” remains a valid synonym and continues to be used as a label designation by Austrian vintners, although most producers prefer the name Zweigelt.[9] The problem of naming the variety after a committed National Socialist was first addressed publicly in December 2018.[10][11]

Viticultural characteristics[edit]

In the Puget Sound AVA it tends to ripen 1-2 weeks earlier than Pinot Noir, and has very large heavy clusters of dark blue-almost-black grapes. The wine tends to be darker in color than Pinot Noir grown in the same area, and produces a larger crop than Pinot Noir.

Zweigelt cluster at Perennial Vintners, Puget Sound AVA, USA

See also[edit]

  • Blauburger – red grape created by Zweigelt the following year

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wine of Czech Republic [1]; see chart at "STATISTICS&CHARTS". Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  2. ^ "Wilridge Vineyard, Winery & Distillery". Wilridge Vineyard, Winery & Distillery. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  3. ^ "Perennial Vintners -- Introduction/Home". www.perennialvintners.com. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  4. ^ Cf. Daniel Deckers: Friedrich Zweigelt as reflected by contemporary sources. In: Wine in Austria. The History. Brandstätter Verlag, Vienna 2019, ISBN 978-3-7106-0404-1, p. 179.
  5. ^ Daniel Deckers: Friedrich Zweigelt as reflected by contemporary sources. In: Wine in Austria. The History. Brandstätter Verlag, Vienna 2019, ISBN 978-3-7106-0404-1, p. 190.
  6. ^ Cf. Daniel Deckers: Friedrich Zweigelt as reflected by contemporary sources. In: Wine in Austria. The History. Brandstätter Verlag, Vienna 2019, ISBN 978-3-7106-0404-1, p. 191.
  7. ^ Ordinance of the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of 20 September 1978 (Federal Law Gazette No. 517/1978).
  8. ^ Verbal explanation provided by Josef Weiss, Director of the Federal Institute of Viticulture and Fruit Production in Klosterneuburg for many years.
  9. ^ Johann Werfring: Der Rote von der Burg. In: “Weinherbst 2013”, supplement to the “Wiener Zeitung” of 2 November 2013, p. 8.
  10. ^ Aktion „Abgezweigelt“ – Zweigelt soll in „Blauer Montag“ umbenannt werden. In: Niederösterreichische Nachrichten. 10 December 2018.
  11. ^ Magdalena Pulz: Der Geist in der Flasche. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. 13 December 2018, p. 1 (online: Wein in Österreich –Zwielichtiger Zweigelt).