Dr. Fritz Zweigelt was onto something when he crossed Blaufränkisch with Saint-Laurent to create Rotburger, now called Zweigelt after its founder. Even further down the genetic line one finds that Zweigelt is a grandchild of Gouais Blanc and Pinot, arguably the two most important and influential varieties in the Western European world. So why is more Zweigelt not being consumed? Because there still isn’t much planted outside of Austria. Just over the border within the greater Styrian region lies The Gabernik vineyard and it was vital that a sizable portion of the site was planted to red varieties. Zweigelt can produce a powerful and intense wine, so long as yields are kept in check as they can get quite out of control without careful farming.
The fruit was hand-harvested and destemmed without crushing, keeping as many of the berries intact as possible. The berries were placed in small, plastic fermenters and fermented open-top without any manipulations other than keeping the cap wet with gentle pumpovers. Fermentation finished in roughly three weeks and the lots were pressed to tank where the wine settled naturally before being racked to old French barriques for maturation. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally and the barrels were lightly sulfured post-ML. Two months later it was racked to tank and bottled without fining or filtration and just another small addition of sulfur.