The creation of the Zweigelt variety in the 1920's by Professor Fritz Zweigelt, a crossing between Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent, only really gained recognition after the Second World War. Nowadays, Zweigelt is the most widespread red wine variety in Austria and can be found in suitable sites in all wine-producing regions.


Austria, LFZ Klosterneuburg


New breed from St. Laurent x Blaufränkisch

Vineyard area

6,067.69 ha; 13.6%

Red wine grape variety


New breed created by Dr. Fritz Zweigelt in 1922 at the Teaching and Research Centre for Viticulture and Horticulture (LFZ) in Klosterneuburg. You find more information about the person Fritz Zweigelt here. More on the background regarding the discussion surrounding the naming of the variety Zweigelt/Rotburger see here.

Vineyard area

Zweigelt owes its widespread distribution to Lenz Moser, who recommended the variety and planted it extensively using his high vine training system. At the end of the 19th century, when the planting of red wine varieties began to increase, Blauer Zweigelt was the most common red wine grape to be grown in Austrian vineyards. Today, it is still the most important red wine variety in all of the country’s wine-growing areas. Between 1999 and 2020, the area under this variety increased dramatically, but has since become constant.

A picture shows grapes from the grape variety Zweigelt.

Important ampelographic features

© Austrian Wine / Oberleithner

Important ampelographic features


circular to pentagonal, three to five lobes

Grape cluster

medium-sized, densely berried, cylindrical, with secondary clusters; berries are round and bluish black in colour



very early
early to middle
middle to late
very late

Significance & conditions

All the Austrian wine-growing regions offer favourable locations for growing Zweigelt, the country’s most widespread red wine variety. The spectrum of wines ranges from young to more mature, produced by élevage in barriques or with no use of wood at all. The variety is also often used as a constituent in cuvée blends. In Carnuntum and the area around Lake Neusiedl, Zweigelt frequently yields premium wines. The variety is not very demanding in terms of soil, but it does require extensive pruning and yield management because of its high fertility. A lack of potash, too high a yield and a number of other stress factors (water and nutrient stress, waterlogging, unfavourable leaf-to-fruit ratio, extreme temperatures, etc.) will cause the grapes to wilt during ripening. The complex interaction of causes cannot be adequately explained due to a lack of research. Wilted grapes cannot be used for wine production.

Area under vine in Austria
(as a proportion of the variety’s total area)

Click on the wine origin in the list for a breakdown into more specific regions of origin.

Total area in Austria:

A picture shows a person holding a glass of red wine.

Characteristics of the wine

© Austrian Wine / Blickwerk Fotografie

Characteristics of the wine

This variety yields purplish-reddish coloured wines with strong tannins. Fully ripe grapes produce full-bodied wines with aromas of morello cherry and good longevity. Élevage in barriques also produces high-quality wines.



New Crossings

Source varietal specifications: Höhere Bundeslehranstalt und Bundesamt für Wein- und Obstbau (Federal College and Federal Office for Viticulture, Oenology and Fruit Growing) in Klosterneuburg, “Austria’s Qualitätswein grape varieties and their clones“ („Österreichische Qualitätsweinrebsorten und deren Klone“), 2nd, reviewed edition, September 2015

Source area under vine: Calculation by Austrian Wine based on data from BML/IACS (as at 28 June 2023). Moving annual total (MAT) from June 2022 to June 2023.



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