Third generation Austrian winemaker Georg Weinwurm manages a diverse vineyard of different varietals located in Austria’s northernmost wine growing region Weinviertel. The area is well known for the white varietal Grüner Veltliner, which can produce wines comparable to a Chardonnay made in Burgundy, yet with dry and spicy, peppery notes.
In the 1950s, Georg´s grandfather Anton planted the first vineyard, beginning with what he thought was Grüner Veltliner. However, upon maturation of the fruit, it was soon discovered that he’d actually planted the red varietal Zweigelt. Rather than seeing this as a negative, the Weinwurms considered this a stroke of luck, as the fruit harvested was of striking fragrance and quality. The varietal had also happened to produce the wine the family favoured most from the vineyard, and so it became known as Glücksmoment, or ‘lucky moment’ – a name that appears on its label today.
During his wine education, diversity was a focus for Georg as he travelled the world: landing a job at Andrew Peace Wines in Australia in 2001 he learned to perfect a wide range of wines that included fortified muscats and shiraz. Georg later came home to take over management of his family vineyard but never lost touch with Andrew. Their friendship continued and soon a collaborative wine project concept was born: to both produce the lucky Zweigelt varietal wine and offer them for sale as a packaged product via a unique import/export deal.
The plan would take a long time to come to fruition as Andrew Peace Wines would need to import the plant cuttings from Georg’s Austrian vineyard. After several years of strict quarantine in Australia, the Zweigelt scions were finally planted, and in turn have now produced one of the very first Zweigelt wines in Australia. The resulting inaugural release 2018 vintage wine is a huge success, with the nutritious sandy and clay soils of Andrew Peace’s Murray River region producing a brilliant wine featuring luscious up-front cherry and cranberry fruit characteristics. Showcasing the best of two highly varied wine growing regions, the 2018 Georg Weinwurm Glücksmoment Zweigelt and the 2018 Andrew Peace Zweigelt are a both finely nuanced delightful wines to compare, savour and enjoy.
Georg Weinwurm Glücksmoment Zweigelt 2018 Ried Schilling
Colour: Brilliant ruby red.
Nose: Ripe cherry and gentle savoury herbaceous characters.
Notes: The palate is dry, medium to light bodied with a punch of front palate acidity, most certainly a wine designed to pair with food.
While its acidity seems slightly aggressive at first, as the wine opens up this adds a pleasing sharpness to the fruit flavours which reveal themselves as having wonderful sour cherry characters. Other rounder, deeper nuances including mulberry, chocolate and a smokey-spice broaden its appeal, layering the back palate.
The trick to enjoying this wine is to pair it with some earthy-textured dips (eggplant, hummus or baba ganoush), perhaps served with some brown rice and sesame crackers. These nutty flavours seem to negate some of the acidity and dryness making the rich cherry fruit more pronounced.
All in all it’s an extremely easy going wine that’s perfect for snacks and starters, and I would suggest, in just about any climate. Delicious complexity that’s ultimately rewarding with food.
Andrew Peace 2018 Zweigelt
Colour: Slightly darker ruby colour, with slightly deeper red-brick hues.
Nose: Deeper and more complex aromas announce themselves within this fantastic Australian interpretation. Rich layers of mulberries are prominent yet nicely weighted by other earthy fragrances, not dissimilar to a pinot noir: mushroom, forest floor, red cherry and spice.
Notes: Its palate maintains a similar dryness to its Austrian counterpart, with the varietal’s telltale fine, chalky tannins playing a part. The Victorian grown product however, seems to take on a more rounded expression of the grape with richer fruit colouring the mid palate, while wonderfully lifted musk and violet perfume elements add divine style and finish.
In term of comparisons to other alternate varietal wines, the Andrew Peace Zweigelt could be pegged somewhere between an Italian Barbera and a French Syrah or Burgundy (due to its spice). A lighter styled wine with distinct sour cherry notes but with added perfume.
Considering the fact that this is Andrew Peace Wines’ first vintage of the varietal, and indeed one of the first ever Australian grown Zweigelt wines, both Georg and Andrew are to be complemented on their outstanding collaborative achievement. This is a wine I truly adore and such a great partner to the Austrian release.
Zweigelt Fast Facts:
Pronounced ‘zwy-gelt’, Zweigelt is the most widely grown red varietal in Austria. It was developed in 1922 by Fritz Zweigelt who crossed St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch varietals. The vine produces large bunches of fat plump fruit with cherry and raspberry flavours. Zweigelt is low in tannin and can produce higher styled wines that can ideal for serving chilled for summer. This makes them perfect for grilled meats, savoury starters and nutty cheeses.
Andrew Peace Wines
4077 Murray Valley Hwy, Piangil, Victoria
Twl 03 5030 5291
Hauptstraße 65, 2181 Dobermannsdorf, Austria
Tel +43 2533 8581