Thursday, August 26, 2010

Welcome to America: Franz and Christine Netzl Estate , Carnuntum, Austria

Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller with Chrisine and Franz Netzl

Klaus Wittauer, Virginia-based importer of Austrian wines, has brought the Netzl Estate to the American market. Weingut Netzl is one of Austria’s leading producers. Last year, in the 2009/10 Red Wine Austria Falstaff, Weingut Netzl was the winner in the Syrah category. I was happy to meet Franz and Christine Netzl at the Curious Grape in the Washington DC area. They have just started to export to the US. This was their first visit. Welcome Franz and Christine Netzl

Wine producer Austria

Austria has about 50.000 hectares of vineyard, equivalent to about half of Germany’s total vineyard area. Almost all of it in the east of the country. Austria can be divided into 4 main wine regions, which are split into 16 districts. The 4 main wine regions are Niederösterreich (Lower Austria) with 30.000 hectares, Burgenland with 15.000 hectares, Steirerland (Styria) with 4.000 hectares and Wien (Vienna) with 600 hectares.

Picture: The Wine Regions of Austria

There are currently more than 30 varieties of grape admissible for the production of quality and "Prädikatswein" in Austria. In tems of white grapes, Grüner Veltliner is the dominant grape in Austria, producing generally dry wines ranging from short-lived Heuriger wines to Spätleses capable of long life. The ancient Welschriesling variety is used in the noble rot dessert wines of the Neusiedlersee; it also makes undistinguished dry wines for drinking young, as does Müller-Thurgau (Rivaner).

Zweigelt and Blauburger were bred at Klosterneuburg in the 1920s and now account for nearly half of Austria's red wine. Blaufränkisch and Portugieser are the traditional red grapes of the region.Saint Laurent came from France in the mid-19th century, and seems to have substantial Pinot Noir parentage.


The Carnuntum region, which covers an area south east of Vienna and south of the Danube, has a long tradition of viticulture stretching back to Celtic times. It experienced an upswing under the Romans. At some point it was the occasional residence of Roman Caesars. The Carnuntum is rich in Roman remains, including an amphitheatre and a roman palace.

Picture: The Wine Regions of Austria

Weingut Netzl

The Netzl Estate is located in the small town of Göttlesbrunn in the Carnuntum. The family has been involved in wine production since 1820. Franz and Christine Netzl are regarded as one of those responsible for the red wine boom in this region. Weingut Markowitsch and Weingut Glatzer are two producers from Goettlesbrunn that are already well established in the US.

The vineyard area totals 20 hectares, with holdings in the Aubühel, Bärnreiser, Haidacker, Holzweg, Kräften and Neuberg sites. 80% of the area is planted with the red varieties Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, while the remaining 20% is planted with the white varieties Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Welschriesling. A bottle-fermented sparkling wine is also produced. Annual production is around 80.000 bottles of wine.

What Klaus, Christine and Franz Poured

Here is what Klaus Wittauer and Franz and Christine Netz poured, with Klaus’ notes.

2008 Carnuntina White

50% Gruener Veltliner and 50 % Welschriesling

This is the perfect everyday white wine. Greenish yellow like straw with a bright rim, green apples, refreshing nose like lemon, juice and stimulating acidity on the palate, simply fun to drink. Serve as an aperitif with light appetizers, vegetarian dishes or with Asian food. Bring this wine to your next picnic.

2008 Carnuntina Red

40% Zweigelt, 40% Blaufraenkisch and 20% Merlot

An easy drinking red blend with ruby garnet and youthful reflexes, red berries in the nose and herbal nuances, fresh and pleasing palate, smooth and ripe tannins. Excellent with meat dishes like pork and chicken, Italian style pasta Bolognese or with a creamy sauce.

2007 Rubin Carnuntum Zweigelt Selection

100% Zweigelt

A dark ruby-garnet with youthful reflexes, dark, ripe cherry on the nose, loads of fruit, berries and juice on the palate, harmonious toasting, balanced and intensive ripe tannins, a wine with charm and elegance. Serve with dark meat like lamb, beef or game, chicken in a red wine sauce, cheese or nuts.

Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller with Christine and Franz Netzl

2007 Edles Tal

60% Zweigelt, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah

Named after the vineyard Edles Tal, which meansnoble valley. A Zweigelt blend with new world influences, dark ruby garnet, fine nuances of spice, delicious fruit and well balanced. Pair with dark meat, lamb, beef or game. Also goes well with a selection of different kinds of cheeses.

Klaus Wittauer

Weingut Netzl, Goettlesbrunn, Austria

Schiller Wine - Related Postings

Austria's 13 Top Zweigelt Wines - The 2009/2010 Falstaff Selection

Austria's 17 Best Zweigelt Wines - The 2010 Wein.pur List

German Wine makers in the World: A. Schlumberger, Austria

Wine ratings: Austria's best red wines - 2010

Wine ratings: Austria - Falstaff Top Red Wines 2009/2010

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