International Awards for Austrian Wines
Every year, the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in England selects the best wines and winegrowers in the world. This year, Austria was particularly successful. The Schneeberger winery scooped up the International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy with a 2019 Südsteiermark DAC Kitzeck-Sausal, meaning that Austria outstripped the Sauvignon giants France and New Zealand. Steiermark also cemented its reputation as a top-class origin of Sauvignon.
Another trophy was brought back to Austria by the Angerhof Tschida winery from the Neusiedlersee winegrowing region. Hans Tschida was crowned “IWC Sweet Winemaker of the Year” – and that for the seventh time.
In total, 290 wines were celebrated at the IWC this year, 79 of them from Austria. An impressive 11 Austrian wines are hereafter entitled to add the IWC Gold logo to their bottles. Relative to the number of wines that received recognition per country, Austria received the highest proportion of gold medals. It is no wonder that the IWC counts Austria among “Europe’s rising stars”.
In May, Ernst Triebaumer’s winery in Rust already had good news to share: at a Burgenland wine tasting, its 2014 Ruster Ausbruch was awarded the maximum score of 100 points in the well-known magazine Robert Parker Wine Advocate. In his tasting notes, the taster Stephan Reinhardt wrote: “The wine is a legend in the making”.
Austrian red and white wines were also awarded fantastic Parker points. Further details will be released in autumn.
Shortly before that, Reinhardt had also tasted Styrian wines from the 2017, 2018 and 2019 vintages. A total of 55 out of the 70 wines were awarded scores of at least 90 points, nine of them even scoring 95 or higher.
For the equally renowned international wine platform jamessuckling.com, Stuart Pigott recently tasted 262 different Austrian wines from the 2020 vintage. 217 of those wines were given 90 points or more. Pigott’s résumé: “[…] in the best dry whites, the acidity is vibrant without being sharp, which, in combination with their moderate alcohol, gives them a vibrant and zippy personality.”
Austria is also increasingly attracting international attention for its red wines. In May, the well-known British magazine Decanter dedicated an entire article to the Neusiedlersee region and its Zweigelt wines. Master of Wine Dirceu Vianna Junior was impressed: “Zweigelt from this area has the potential to become the New Gruner (sic) Veltliner story.” This variety can produce both approachable and easy-drinking wines and red wines with a great ageing potential.
Also in May, the British magazine The Drinks Business published the results of its competition The Pinot Noir Masters. Austria’s winegrowers garnered a total of four medals: one gold and three bronzes. For the jury member and author Patrick Schmitt MW, this makes Austria “another nation that can wow with Pinot.”
In Germany, it was Blaufränkisch that triumphed for Austria. At the Vaihinger Löwe 2021, which celebrates wines of this variety from various countries, Austria’s winegrowers were able to take the victory as well as a further three places among the top six. Once again, Austria has shown that it leads the way internationally when it comes to Blaufränkisch.