Austrian Wine Words: Know your grapes!

Austria is home to many indigenous varieties, but it’s also home to many international varieties. However, sometimes label recognition can get tricky for non-German speaking consumers.

Here’s a short guide to help you navigate Austrian wine label varieties:

Grauburgunder – Pinot Gris. Grau- means Grey, as does Gris. Burgunder means Pinot…. Basically, Grey Pinot!

Blauburgunder – Pinot Noir. Blau- means blue, noir means dark…  You already have Burgunder under your belt!

Weissburgunder – Pinot Blanc. Weiss – means white.. as does blanc.

Blaufränkisch: Lemberger. This doesn’t exactly translate, but it’s important to know that this is the same grape. Blaufränkisch is popularly labeled as Lemberger in Germany and the Finger Lakes. As an added bit of trivia, look for it in Hungary as Këkfrankos.

Gelber Muskateller: This grape goes by many names across the world, but most popularly, it may be known as Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains. Basically, it’s a muscat variety so you can expect a highly-aromatic character full of flowers.

Morillon: Chardonnay. Morillon is a common name for Chardonnay made in Austria, but it is not to be confused with the Morillon variety found in Germany. They are two grapes of the same name… In the US market, you will most commonly find Chardonnay from Austria under the name, “Chardonnay.”

Rotburger: Zweigelt. The name given to the grape before it was renamed in the 1970’s after its creator, Dr. Zweigelt, by Lenz Moser. Like Chardonnay, you will generally, if not always, find this grape under the name “Zweigelt,” but just in case….

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