The indigenous Zierfandler is a curiosity found in the Thermenregion, and derives from Roter Veltliner and a second, unknown parentage, that is thought to liken Traminer. Zierfandler is traditionally blended with Rotgipfler, and vinified as 'Spätrot-Rotgipfler', either as a blend of the two varieties after fermentation, or if planted together in the vineyard, as a mixture.
Vineyard area: This autochthonous variety is a rarity of the Thermenregion and grown almost exclusively there. Cultivation is decreasing.
Important ampelographic features:
Leaf: large, circular, three to five lobes, hairy underside
Grape cluster: medium-sized; very dense berries; cylindrical, shouldered, sometimes with wings; round reddish colored grapes (Spätrot)
Significance, conditions: In the Thermenregion, Zierfandler (Spätrot) and Rotgipfler are often vinified as a Spätrot-Rotgipfler, either blended as cuvée or already planted together mixed in the vineyard. Zierfandler requires the best vineyard sites and makes few demands on the soil. It is sensitive to winter frost and very prone to Botrytis, but also is very tolerant to dryness and calcareous soils.
Wine: When the grapes are nicely ripe, the wines are rich in extract and have a pleasant acidity and subtle aromatics. In a TBA, the bouquet exudes honey and even sherry-esque tones. Prädikat wines have excellent ageing potential.