We love all the wine regions of Austria, but this past week was all about Burgenland as Wein Burgenland took over Washington, D.C. and its surrounding areas.

The extravaganza started on Tuesday at Cork Wine Bar & Market on 14th Street (at U Street) with a seminar featuring all red wines of Austria from Burgenland and Carnuntum. Twenty industry and press from the nation’s capital sat captivated as they tasted four flights of indigenous varieties – many of whom hadn’t ever had such extensive experience with the reds in the past.

The tasting featured wines made from Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch, St. Laurent, and Pinot Noir as well as cuvees of both indigenous varieties only and international varieties such as Syrah and Merlot. The entire tasting was followed by small bites and an accompanying wine bar that showcased more of Austria’s specialties.

The wines:

Winery Zantho Burgenland Zweigelt
Winery Netzl Zweigelt Haidacker
Matthias Peck by Scheiblhofer Zweigelt Andau
Paul Achs Blaufrankisch Edelgrund
Prieler Leithaburg DAC
Weninger Blaufrankisch Hochaecker
Jalits Eisenberg DAC Reserve
Pittnauer St Laurent Rosenberg
Steindorfer St Laurent Reserve
Umathum Pinot Noir Joiser Terrassen
Juris Pinot Noir Reserve
Gesellmann Opus Eximium
Gernot Heinrich Pannobile
Leo Hillinger GmbH Hill 1
Wine Bar
Scheiblhofer Zweigelt Andau
Hannes Reeh GmbH Zweigelt Unplugged
Moric Burgenland Blaufrankisch Reserve
Silvia Heinrich Blaufrankisch Goldberg
Krutzler Blaufrankisch Reserve
Winery Poeckl Rosso E Nero
Anita & Hans Nittnaus Pannobile
Iby Chevalier Blaufraenkisch


The facts:


  • Zweigelt is one you can drink and enjoy for years… but typically it’s a younger drinking wine.
  • Zweigelt is very popular in Austria because it is ready to drink earlier.
  • Zweigelt can often be a pleasant, fruit-driven, easy drinking wine, but it can also be made with structure and have decent aging potential.
  • Zweigelt was created in 1922, but originally under another name. The story says that the reason it was named Zweigelt was because some winemakers, recognizing the potential for Zweigelt, stole some of the crossings from the nursery… they didn’t know what to call it so they started calling it by its creator’s name, Dr. Zweigelt. By the 1970’s, it stuck.


  • Blaufränkisch is basically the complete opposite of Zweigelt. It’s less fruit and more spice, acidity,tannin, and earth.
  • Blaufränkisch is very expressive of its terroir. It expresses it sense of place and soil – you can really tell where it’s from.

St. Laurent:

  • St. Laurent is never cheap, but people like it.
  • It’s a relative of Pinot Noir so it’s spicy and full of cherries, but it also has a smokier, meatier quality.
  • Also like Pinot Noir, St. Laurent is finicky and can be a diva in the vineyard.


So there you have it! Stay tuned for continued coverage of the dinners and other events.