The original name of the grape was Rotburger. The variety was not called Zweigelt until 1975, after its creator Dr Fritz Zweigelt. Young Zweigelt wines typically display an aroma of morello cherry.
Successful crossing: origins of the Zweigelt grape variety
The red grape variety Zweigelt is also known under the names Rotburger and Klosterneuburger, which refer to its colour and place of creation respectively. The grape was bred in 1922 by Dr Zweigelt in the viticultural research institute based in the Austrian town of Klosterneuburg. The successful crossing of the Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent varieties is the most popular red wine grape in Austria, and it is also cultivated in Germany, England, Hungary and Japan.
Zweigelt: soft wines with characteristic aromas
Zweigelt produces fruity, warm, full-bodied wines with an appealing acidity. Light aromas of morello cherries, vanilla, blackberries and walnuts are framed by supple tannins. Zweigelt is often produced as a single-varietal, but it is commonly used as a blending wine too. Wines made from the Zweigelt grape usually go very well with typical Austrian dishes such as Wiener Schnitzel, goulash and Tafelspitz.
In order to produce quality Zweigelt wines, rigorous canopy management and yield control are necessary. Otherwise the grapes just produce pale and flabby wines.