Robert and Marietta Keringer produce award-winning wines on their traditional family estate in the Austrian Burgenland. While the vintners are red wine specialists, they produce whites too – turning their hand to new varieties as well as well-known grapes.
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS : KERINGER
This year, Keringer was crowned the winner in three different competitions with its 100 Days Zweigelt – Neusiedlersee DAC Reserve 2017 (Best Zweigelt at the Burgenland Competition, Best Zweigelt of Austria at the Salon of Austria and first place in Best Zweigelt International at the AWC Vienna, a competition in which 1,700 winemakers from 42 countries send in their wines to be tested every year). Even more recently, Robert and Marietta Keringer achieved outstanding success in Germany at the Berlin Wine Trophy, one of the most important international wine tastings. To top off these achievements, the wine tasting jury also crowned Keringer ‘best Austrian wine producer’. Receiving this special award for the ninth time (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2011, 2010 and 2008) – so six times in a row – is a testament to the great quality of the Keringer wines.
The success of Keringer wines crosses Europe and spans Asia, too. In 2019, the Asia Wine Trophy – which is the biggest wine competition in Asia – awarded the Keringer 100 Days Zweigelt with the Grand Gold medal. Here, 15 of Robert Keringer’s wines were honoured (one Grand Gold Medal, ten gold medal and four silver medals) despite the tough competition: over 4,300 wines from 34 countries were submitted for tasting this year.
Robert Keringer has a talent for wine making. It took him just a few years to turn the family vineyard, formerly a secondary business for his parents, into an award-winning wine business. Keringer wines have, for example, been awarded special mentions in specialised journals like Falstaff, Vineria and A La Carte. Keringer’s vineyards are situated close to the estate in Mönchhof near Lake Neusiedl – in the wine cultivating area of the Austrian Burgenland. The Lake Neusiedl DAC region has about 7,000 hectares of vineyards on the northern and eastern shores of the lake. lt lies in a Pannonian climate zone with hot, dry summers and cold winters with little snow and moderate precipitation. The lake is important for the microclimate; it stores warmth on summer days and slowly emits it to its surroundings during the night. This moderate cool-down helps the wine to gain a refreshing, fruity flavour and the necessary acidity which makes the wine so tasteful and distinctive.
A red wine specialist
Robert Keringer is a red wine specialist, with his main focus on Zweigelt, St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch. Yet, he also dedicates his time to cultivating rare wines like the Rathay, a project he has been working on for nearly 20 years. The Rathay is an Austrian cultivar from the 1970s that was grown in Klosterneuburg and approved as a quality variety in 2000. It is a wine that exists only in very small quantities and is mostly used in two of his cuvees, named Grande Cuvée and MASSIV®. “Exceptional wines need exceptional methods in cultivation and vinification,” explains Robert Keringer.
With his 100-Days®, Keringer created a special wine series available in four different red varieties and one white, called 100 Days® Zweigelt, Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay – all sorted by variety. Due to the long fermentation process, the wines gain a special balance of tannins, colour and flavour. The young wine stays in the mash with skin, seeds and all the other grape components for more than 100 days. One of those wines – the 100 Days Zweigelt – matures in the biggest glass bottle worldwide.
Keringer’s top wine is the Cuvee Massiv®, produced in a fermentation process similar to that of the 100 Days® series. It is a cuvee from Blaufränkisch, Rathay, Zweigelt and a little amount of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon ideally merged for maximum taste. Those who drink this special wine, will understand, cherish and remember the taste for a very long time.
After a preparation period of three years, the Keringer wine estate filled the largest wine bottle in the world with a total volume of 1,590 litres of 100 Days Zweigelt 2015 in Vorarlberg’s gourmet restaurant Engel Wang Fu, out in the far west of Austria. The wine bottle, which was specially produced and – while empty – weighed approximately 770 kilogrammes at a height of three metres, was filled with what would have been 2,120 bottles of 100 Days Zweigelt and then sealed with a 30 centimetre cork, plated with 24-carat gold leaf.
This worldwide unique glass bottle thereby set the world record for the largest glass wine bottle in the world, and earned a place in the Guinness World Records.
Tasting notes for the 100 Days® Zweigelt 2017:
14.5 per cent vol – the wine is complex, multifaceted, impacts with high elegance instead of force, superb dark red fruit, savoury roast aroma, chocolate truffles, a hint of nougat, dark berries, fine fruit, a touch of Black Forest cake and a great body.
Tasting notes for the MASSIV 2015:
14.5 per cent vol – this wine shines as ‘opaque tint’, very solid, dark berries, a perfectly fitting taste of wood, fine vanilla, an outstanding body, solid and fruity, tannins can be tasted but are very well integrated, fruit is present, a hint of vanilla and rum-coconut, massive but elegant and tasty, impressive body.