Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Thermenregion, austrian wine-growing region named for its thermal springs, also unofficially known as the Südbahn for the railway south from vienna that forms its backbone, encompassing 2,500 ha/6,100 acres of vines. The region grows two indigenous white wine varieties seldom encountered anywhere else that, amounting to little more than 7% of Thermenregion’s vines, are often taken to define the region. rotgipfler produces wines with a striking combination of body and brightness, while zierfandler (sometimes called Spätrot) recalls chenin blanc in its juxtaposition of opulence with brightness with spiced quince and citrus notes. Weingut Stadlmann’s Zierfandler from the Mandel-Höh vineyard demonstrates how profound, seductive, and long-lived this varietal can be. neuburger, pinot blanc (Weissburgunder), grüner veltliner, riesling, pinot noir (Blauburgunder), and st laurent have all selectively demonstrated promise in this region that once had a major presence in foreign as well as domestic markets. Two reds, zweigelt and Blauer portugieser, evenly split a 25% share of the region’s vineyards, but without similar successes to show for it. Chardonnay, muskateller, and traminer wines have recently found their way abroad, although these varieties are not widely planted in Thermenregion.