Blauer Wildbacher

A picture shows grapes of the grape variety Blauer Wildbacher
© AWMB / Oberleitner

Origin: Austria, Wildbach, Steiermark

Parentage: natural seedling from the Heunisch variety. This autochthone grape is closely related to the Blaufränkisch variety.

Vineyard area: 458 ha, 1.0 %

It is grown only in the Steiermark, especially the Weststeiermark. For the production of Schilcher, only the Blauer Wildbacher variety from the Steiermark is permitted.

Important ampelographic features
Leaf: The full-gown leaf is wedge-shaped; three to five lobes
Grape cluster: small, with compact berries; conical, shouldered, often with wings; roundish blue-black grapes and a neutral to grassy taste

Ripening time: very late

Significance, conditions: Although its vineyard presence is very small, this grape is nevertheless very well-known for its rosé-style wine - a Steiermark speciality called  Schilcher. With its pink to onion skin colour, the Schilcher is vinified just like a rosé. The variety demands the best vineyard sites. It is sensitive to late frosts and highly prone to oidium and peronospora.

Wine: Racy acidity as well as a distinctive aroma and taste characterize the fruity-fresh, robust wine - which can be enjoyed also as an aperitif. In gneiss and slate soils, the variety achieves a grassy and spicy expression. Prädikat and ice wines are also made from the Blauer Wildbacher, just as well red wines.