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Austrian red wine producers reach the top

by Catherine Walbridge
Dorli Muhr mit Wein-Portfolio im Weinberg

Austria has traditionally been synonymous with white wine – especially its most planted grape variety, Grüner Veltliner. But the winds of change are blowing through the Austrian wine world... now its best producers are also being recognised at the highest level for their red wines.

The new list of the Top 100 Wineries published by the influential US magazine Wine & Spirits includes four Austrian wineries: Dorli Muhr, Moric, Rudi Pichler and Wachter-Wiesler. But one of the most fascinating facets of their inclusion is that three of those four wineries are red wine producers!

It is the 20th time Wine & Spirits has published its annual ranking of the Top 100 Wineries. Austria might be a relatively small wine producing nation by global standards but it has proved it can punch above its weight when it comes to both premium red and white wines.


The wineries are spread across four different wine regions. Roland Velich from Moric Winery hails from Mittelburgenland, Rudi Pichler is in Wachau, Wachter-Wiesler Winery in Eisenberg (southern Burgenland) and Dorli Muhr, is in Carnuntum, east of Vienna towards Austria’s border with Slovakia.

Dorli Muhr

"For the first time, three of the four Austrian producers in the ranking are red wine producers. And for the first time, an Austrian woman is included. I am very proud of both."

Dorli Muhr

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!

Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries 2023

 

Argentina

  • Catena Zapata

  • Zuccardi

Australia

  • Penfolds

  • Vasse Felix

Austria

  • Moric

  • Dorli Muhr

  • Rudi Pichler

  • Wachter-Wiesler

Chile

  • Concha y Toro

  • Undurraga

France

  • Jean-Baptiste Adam

  • Billecart-Salmon

  • Bollinger

  • Albert Boxler

  • Pierre Brocard

  • Domaine du Couvent

  • Lionel Faury

  • Famille Joly

  • Domaine Laroche

  • J. Lassalle

  • Domaine Frederic Magnien

  • Lucien Le Moine

  • Domaines Ott

  • Domaine Taupenot-Merme

  • Jean Vesselle

Georgia

  • Do Re Mi

Germany

  • Fritz Haag

  • Carl Loewen

  • Dr. Loosen

Greece

  • Sclavos

  • Domaine Zafeirakis

Hungary

  • Royal Tokaji

Italy

  • Adami

  • Fratelli Alessandria

  • Castello di Ama

  • Luigi Baudana

  • Biondi-Santi

  • Elvio Cogno

  • I Favati

  • Le Macchiole

  • Ornellaia

  • Petrolo

  • Pieropan

  • Pietradolce

  • Rocca di Montegrossi

  • Sottimano

  • Tasca d’Almerita

  • G.D. Vajra

  • Vietti

Portugal

  • Azores Wine Co.

  • Blandy’s

  • Casa de Passarella

  • Luis Seabra

Slovenia

  • Movia 

South Africa

  • David & Nadia

  • Mullineux

Spain

  • Can Sumoi

  • De Los Abuelos

  • López de Heredia

  • Muga

  • Raventós i Blanc

  • Suertes del Marqués

  • Tempos Vega Sicilia

Uruguay

  • Bodega Garzón

USA

  • Bergström

  • Brooks

  • Cadence

  • Chanin Wine Co.

  • Corison

  • Cristom Vineyards

  • DeLille Cellars

  • Deovlet

  • Diamond Creek Vineyards

  • Domaine Anderson

  • Donkey & Goat

  • Dr. Konstantin Frank

  • Eden Rift

  • The Eyrie

  • Fess Parker

  • La Garagista Wine Company

  • Green & Red

  • Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard

  • Hirsch Vineyards

  • Iron Horse

  • J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

  • Keenan

  • L’Ecole No 41

  • Melville

  • Minus Tide

  • Mount Eden Vineyards

  • Ovum

  • Pásxa

  • Pepper Bridge

  • Ridge Vineyards

  • Siduri

  • Storybook Mountain Vineyards

  • Tablas Creek

  • Terre Rouge & Easton

  • Walter Scott

  • Williams Selyem

About the Top 100 Wineries ranking

Wine & Spirits magazine is one of the most important wine publications in the USA. For the annual ranking, a panel of experts tastes thousands of wines in a multi-stage blind tasting. The wineries with the highest overall scores for their wine portfolio make it into the ranking. A prerequisite for inclusion in the Top 100 Wineries is that they distribute their wines in the USA through a licensed US importer.

About Weingut Dorli Muhr

Dorli Muhr, who for three decades has led the internationally renowned agency Wine+Partners, founded her own estate in 2002. The heart of the estate is a 0.17 hectare parcel that her grandmother received as a wedding gift in 1918. Plot by plot, Dorli Muhr has acquired sites on the Spitzerberg with notably mature Blaufränkisch vines. She transitioned her vineyards to organic and founded a new, extra-gentle vinification method to encourage the finest, most elegant expressions of the Blaufränkisch variety. In 2019, the Spitzerberg received its Erste Lage classification by the Österreichische Traditionsweingüter.

Weingut Dorli Muhr
Kirchengasse 24
2472 Prellenkirchen

Weingut Dorli Muhr

Dorli Muhr beim Wein Verkosten
Astrid Rauch bei Wine+Partners
Astrid Rauch
Head of Media Relations

Good communication builds bridges and is the key to success. Thanks to many intensive years in journalism, Astrid is not only very familiar with the media industry, but is also very well connected. Since 2022, she has been heading the PR department and brings her know-how to the international agency. Astrid is responsible for the top winemaker Dorli Muhr, the Doktor Wunderer winery and Tenuta Monteti in southern Tuscany.