WINE SCHOOL 12 - 18 October 2015

REGION: Austria > Burgenland

On the border with Hungary in eastern Austria, the sunny Burgenland region encompasses the sub-regions Mittelburgenland, Neusiedlersee, Neusiedlersee Hugelland and Sudburgenland. The region produces some of Austria's best red wines (notably using the Blaufränkisch grape) and sweet botrytised wines.

Key red grapes: Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt, St-Laurent, Pinot Noir
Key white grapes: Scheurebe, Chardonnay, Welschriesling

GRAPE: Blaufränkisch

Widely planted in Austria, Blaufränkisch produces surprisingly rich, deeply coloured red wines. Imagine Beaujolais with the concentration and tannins turned up and you're getting close - redcurrant, red cherry, blueberry and loganberry on a sturdy yet elegant frame. These wines can age well, developing a moreish, herby/savoury edge that you might mistake for New World Pinot Noir.

The vine requires a long growing season and thrives in Austria's warm Burgenland region, where the lake Neusiedler See and its tributaries help mitigate against spring frost damage. There are also plantings in northern Italy, Germany and parts of Hungary.

Blaufränkisch often benefits from being served just below room temperature, around 16°C, and partners excellently with venison with wild mushrooms.

SYNONYMS: Franconia (Italy: Friuli), Kékfrankos (Hungary), Lemberger/Limberger (Germany)


Next week in WINE SCHOOL: Constantia (South Africa) & Muscat

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