On the ninth day of Austrian wine, we received a few bottles of Neuburger  – a white grape  from Austria which originated as a crossing between Sylvaner and Roter Veltliner.

This variety has only been present in Austrian since the mid 19th-century, but it has come to be known as an Austrian specialty. Legend has it, that Neuburger was first planted in Austrian when a several grape bunches were washed up onto the shores of the southern bank of the Oberarnsdorf river in the Wachau.  The founders of the grapes planted clippings along the Danube on the opposite side of the river in the Spitzer Burgberg (aka Tausendeimerberg.)

Neuburger makes up just under 1.5% of Austria’s vineyards, but it is classified in the Leithaberg DAC along with Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay & Gruener Veltliner. It is also most widely grown in the Thermenregion and in other areas of Burgenland.

Neuburger generally displays a full, soft body with unique mineral notes and slightly muted, but pleasant fruit character. Many Neuburger wines will do well with some age and will develop and slightly nutty characteristic. A Neuburger would be a great alternative for the Pinot Grigio drinkers of the bunch who are looking for a little something extra. Try this wine as an apertif or, if you’re celebrating with seafood this holiday, with the main event!