It's perfectly fitting that Austrian/ Germanic grape varieties grow at Hahndorf Hill Winery, as our boutique vineyard is located at the edge of historic Hahndorf village, the oldest-surviving German settlement in Australia.
Hahndorf Hill's first owner was a German migrant who arrived in the early 1990s and who quickly planted his favourite red varieties, Trollinger and Blaufrankisch (otherwise known as Lemberger in Germany).
A decade later, Hahndorf Hill was taken over by ourselves - the new owners, Larry Jacobs and Marc Dobson. We too were migrants (but from South Africa), and we were extremely happy to continue with the Germanic/ Austrian theme, subsequently adding Gruner Veltliner, Zweigelt and St Laurent to the property.
Our research had indicated to us that the Adelaide Hills is very well suited to the growing of these varieties, as our region's climate shares many similarities with Austria's top wine regions where warm days are balanced by cold nights.
Australia's first Austrian varietal wine
In the early vintages, our Blaufrankisch and Trollinger grapes were blended to make a popular, dry-style rosť, but in 2008 we took the plunge and produced our debut Blaufrankisch wine - a seductively smooth, medium-bodied red which became the first Austrian varietal wine to be made in Australia.
Our 2008 Blaufrankisch proved to be a great success, taking out a trophy and two gold medals. Our 2009 Blaufrankisch vintage also took out a trophy and went on to scoop a gold medal at the prestigious Vienna International Wine Challenge in Austria!
In 2012 Hahndorf Hill became the first Australian winery to produce a wine made from Austria's other favourite red grape, Zweigelt, and it is currently being used in our new Zsa Zsa Zweigelt Nouveau label. Made using the carbonic maceration fermentation process, this is a perfumed, spicy red that is perfect for light summer sipping. In addition, we now have the first Australian plantings of St Laurent in the ground - yet another exotic Austrian that promises to produce an enticing, cool-climate red wine.
Discover more about Austrian red grape varieties
Keen to learn more about Austrian reds? Click on the links below.
Austria's Red Wines are Ready for Prime Time
Blaufrankisch is Austria's terroir red
The Glorious Grapes Defining Austrian Red Wine
Everything You Never Knew About the Wines of Austria
Austria's great reds
The reds of Burgenland
The big deal about Blaufrankisch
Guide to Austrian wine regions
Austria's native reds