Today is all about our lesser-known indigenous Austrian variety! At just 1.7% of the total production, it’s sometimes easy for this delicious grape to get lost in the mix of things. We won’t stand for it any longer, though, as it’s high time this grape receives the attention it deserves!
The grape earned its name from St. Lawrence Day, which is August 10th, because the grapes begin to change color about that time. St. Laurent is, perhaps, best-known as one of the parent’s of Zweigelt , the grape created by Dr. Fritz Zweigelt in 1922, but it is definitely one that can stand on its own. The grape is often likened to Pinot Noir, offering a heavy bouquet of spice, but it offers darker fruits and cherries and is often weightier. These wines do well with oak, are frequently of high-quality, and have a good ageability.
The variety offers low-yields and requires deep soils; it is also sensitive during flowering and susceptible to damages with late frosts. As a result, the variety can sometimes be disregarded and viewed more as a nuisance by producers, which is a shame! St. Laurent is predominately found in the Thermenregion area of Lower Austria and also in northern Burgenland.
As we mentioned, its production is small, but you can certainly find some delicious examples on our shores!