Cool Climate Reds

Austria’s new red wine revolution began around 1985, when a few pioneers applied advanced red-wine making techniques to imported French varieties, as well as to the local vines.

A picture shows wine glasses
© AWMB / Hollinger

Today, Austria produces a wide variety of reds, in three main categories:

  • Indigenous varieties
  • International varieties
  • Cuvées


Developed in 1922 at Klosterneuburg, the world’s oldest wine school (founded in 1860), Zweigelt is a cross between Blaufränkisch and Sankt Laurent. Zweigelt is grown in all Austrian regions, with a special focus on Carnuntum and Neusiedlersee DAC areas. The wines are typically very juicy and fruit-driven, with subtly rounded notes on the palate. Zweigelt works also as an excellent blending partner in many fine red cuvées.


A very old Austrian variety, Blaufränkisch—apart from Carnuntum’s ‘Spitzerberg’—grows mainly in Burgenland, where it takes the forms of three regionally typical versions: Leithaberg DAC (mineralic), Mittelburgenland DAC (opulent), Eisenberg DAC (racy). A bit firmer than Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch presents more acidity and tannin, and demonstrates great aging potential.

Pinot Noir

Austrian Pinot Noir is a classic cool climate version of this noble variety. The typical fruit of cherry and red berries comes packed in an elegant body, balanced with fine, fresh acidity. You can find Pinot Noir in all Austrian growing regions, with special attention paid to it in the Thermenregion and northern Burgenland.

St. Laurent

A descendant of Pinot Noir, this classically Austrian grape produces wines with deep colour, typical aromas of dark cherries and a dry yet velvety finish. It is grown as a specialty in most of Austrian’s wine regions, but is more typical for the Thermenregion and northern Burgenland.


Either as a blend of Austrian varieties, or a combination of Austrian and international varieties, or even the classic Bordeaux blend these Cuvées reflect the cool climate and the special terroir of their origin, and often have distinctive names to express Austria’s dynamic new wine scene.