The 2001 Vintage
A total vineyard area of 46,200 hectare (-1%) brought a total of 2,530,600 hl (+8%) wine for the 2001 vintage. This result is 5% above the yearly average of 2,418,000 hl. 1.759,200 hl meant a 6% increase for white wines and 771,400 hl and increase of 14% for reds.
A dry winter which was so mild that it hardly deserved to be called winter at all was followed in most wine-growing areas by a spring that was dry and pleasant, allowing the vines to develop normally. The hot and summery weather in May even brought to mind the heat records of 2000. After a good blossoming period right up to mid-June, a cool and rainy July finally brought the much-needed precipitation and a chance for the plants to recuperate. August was so hot and sunny that an early harvest date seemed probable. The weather changed promptly as the school year started bringing a September with seemingly endless rains. The last weekend of September finally brought a change for the better and a spell of pleasant weather remained nearly uninterrupted throughout October.
White, red and sweet wines
The 2001 vintage whites are fruit-driven and spicy, with good varietal character and a textbook expression of the fine acidity, which is so appreciated by Austrian wine lovers. Lower Austria’s predominant grape variety, Grüner Veltliner, had exceptional success in all style categories. White wines from the burgundy family and also Sauvignon Blanc showed good acidic structure and typical varietal character. Like the whites with their clarity and intense fruit, the 2001 reds show great depth of fruit and elegance. While the previous vintage brought more powerful wines, the reds from 2001 will be able to make up for their lacking punch with great charm.
The quality of the 2001 red wines exceeds that of the 1995, 1996, and 1998 vintages and has brought both wines evolving early as well as growths of substance. The varieties Zweigelt, St. Laurent and Blauburgunder (Pinot Noir) were particularly successful, but also the Blaufränkisch from Mittelburgenland and Südburgenland brought quite good results.
September was ideal for botrytis and guaranteed a slow and continuous spread of noble rot and excellent dessert wines were produced in Burgenland rivalling even the great sweet vintages 1998 and 1999. The Seewinkel district on the east bank of Lake Neusiedl managed to harvest significant quantities as well as remarkable quality.