Red wine nation
Only a few years ago, Austria was not seen as a significant red wine country, little was known about the Blaufränkisch grape variety, let alone Dorli Muhr's top vineyard, Spitzerberg. Today, however, the Austrian red wine producers recognised in the ranking – Moric, Wachter-Wiesler and Dorli Muhr – all work with the central European variety.
The global spotlight was turned on. Blaufränkisch at a summit in the alpine resort of Lech in December 2022. Its character, origin and evolution were eagerly debated by wine critics and sommeliers from around the world and tastings were conducted with more than 50 Blaufränkisch wines.
Now Blaufränkisch is appreciated by discerning wine drinkers well beyond Austria's borders. And the Spitzerberg, with its thick layer of limestone and extreme weather conditions, stands alongside Eisenberg and Mittelburgenland as one of the leading appellations.
"I am very proud of the great recognition that Spitzerberg now has," says Dorli Muhr. "My grandmother, who spent some of the best years of her childhood here, would be very happy. She would say: 'Keep going, you are on the right track!'"
If you can make it there…
The recognition from Wine & Spirits magazine is appreciated because the USA is one of the most important overseas markets for Austrian wines. It is the third biggest export market after Germany and Switzerland – and is continuing to grow.
"When you make it in the USA and attract the attention of the wine industry, it is a very special award. It's not enough to make a great wine once, you have to be consistently in the top range over a long period of time and impress the experts and retailers so that they trust you," explains Dorli Muhr, who hails from Prellenkirchen in Carnuntum.
It seems Austria's distinctive red-white-red banderole sported on bottle capsules as proof of its quality assurance procedures, is now more appropriate than ever. Austria is now truly flying the flag internationally for red as well as white wines!