Austria

Grape Types

Blaufrankisch (aka Lemberger) is a black-skinned grape grown across Europe but most significantly in Austria and Hungary, Tiny quantities are also grown in the United States, most notably in New York's Finger Lakes but also in various parts of Washington (the Rattlesnake Hills, Horse Heaven Hills, Yakima Valley), and such far-flung states as California, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Colorado. The common feature in Blaufrankisch wines from all of these places is a fruit-forward profile with aromas of spiced black cherries.

In Austria, Blaufrankisch is the second most popular red-wine variety behind Zweigelt – a crossing of Blaufrankisch with Austria's other signature red variety, Saint-Laurent. It is grown in almost every Austrian wine region to some extent, but its stronghold is unquestionably Burgenland where approximately 2632 hectares (6504 acres) were cultivated in 2015.
Most commonly planted in Austria, Gruner Veltliner is seeing something of a renaissance at present. Gruner Veltliner produces a range of styles from soft and light to more complex, mineral age worthy style. The wines are often distinguished by a peppery, celery salt character.
Pinot Gris is also known as Tokay Pinot Gris in Alsace though the prefix Tokay was dropped to appease the Tokaji Wine governing body in Hungary. This is a slightly spicier and more expressive version of its stablemate, Pinot Blanc, and actually a mutation of Pinot Noir. It is one of the chief dry white varieties in Alsace, but also produces some deliciously sweet, age worthy, late-harvest styles. It is the same grape as northern Italy's Pinot Grigio, Germany's Grauburgunder or Ruländer and Hungary's Szürkebarát and is starting to become fashionable in New Zealand.
The great red grape of the northern Rhône where it reaches its optimum levels in the violet-scented muscular wines of Hermitage and the graceful sappy Côte Rôties, which in the latter case is sometimes blended with Viognier. The wines of Cornas are renowned as producing Syrah-based wines very close in quality to Hermitage, while St Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage also represent some good value examples. It is also a component of many southern Rhône reds, namely Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As Shiraz, it is Australia's most important red variety, found in various guises from ripe fruit-forward commercial wines to intense concentrated old vine cuvees such as Grange and those of Clarendon Hills. In the best instances Syrah/Shiraz produces deep, spicy, age-worthy wines.
Welschriesling is a white grape variety grown in central and eastern Europe. It is almost infamous for its neutrality, as it is often used to make light and really quite unremarkable wines with high acidity. However, Welschriesling comes into its own in southern Austria, where it is used to make luscious Trockenbeerenauslese dessert wines.