D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves – Episode 20: Blaufränkischland


Our 20th episode is dedicated to Blaufränkisch, the widely acknowledged “grape of the future”,  and its epicentre of production in the Federal State of Burgenland on the eastern edge of Austria. Barbaresco or Côte Rôtie? Chinon or Pommard?  What does Blaufränkisch remind you of? We go straight to two of the world’s greatest artists of the ancient grape to get the inside story: Roland Velich (Weingut Moric) and Uwe Schiefer. 

From his base in Mittleburgenland, casino croupier-turned winegrower Roland Velich is the counterculture Blaufränkisch rebel, whose wines tread the line between radical and refined, drawing inspiration from ancient vines and techniques. His mission is simple: restore the fame and quality of  Burgenland and Blaufränkisch, once the jewels of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. We also pay a visit to Weingut Uwe Schiefer in the Eisenberg DAC. Schiefer, a sommelier-turned-winemaker, was compelled to leave an illustrious career Vienna to make wine from the schisty Eisenberg hill, a then unknown but now a coveted niche for Blaufränkisch, using a sommelier’s sensitivity and sensibility with stunning results. With nary a barrique in sight, we reach Schiefer’s right hand man, Mark Matisovits for the back story and the current techniques that make for great Blau. Terroir, it turns out, does matter, and a great deal. Limestone, schist, clay, gneiss… all reveal themselves with clarion clarity through Blaufränkisch’s DNA. 

For  wine students, we also cover the basics of the DACs of Eisenberg, Mittleburgenland, Leithaberg and Carnuntum, and reveal what an Uhudler is. You need to know.

Bring your tissues and join us this week as we journey back to the future into Blaufränkischland, the world’s most peppery destination outside the northern Rhône!
The Wine Thieves


Austria Series:

Along the Danube Part II: Weinviertel

Along the Danube Part 1

Green Austria Part 2: Biodynamic Austria

Green Austria Part 1

Médoc Series:

Médoc Part 3: Sustainability, Organics, Biodynamics & Agroforestry

Médoc Part 2: Family, Legacy and the Future

Médoc Part 1: Médoc, the Next Generation

Côtes de Provence Series:

Episode 10: Côtes de Provence Part 5: Terroir & Techniques: The Science of Rosé in Provence

Episode 9: Côtes de Provence Part 4: Coteaux Varois en Provence

Episode 8: Côtes de Provence Part 3: Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence

Episode 7: Côtes de Provence Part Deux

Episode 6: Côtes de Provence Part 1

Bourgogne for a Changing World Series:

Bourgogne for a Changing World Episode Episode 4: Côte Chalonnaise

Bourgogne for a Changing World Episode 3: Hautes-Côtes

Bourgogne for a Changing World: The Grand Auxerrois – Part 2B

Bourgogne for a Changing World: The Grand Auxerrois – Part 2A

Bourgogne for a Changing World Part 1: Attractive Values of the “Bourgogne Plus”