Die Burgundermacher on: St. Laurent from Austria’s Thermal Region

The actual provenance of the St. Laurent grape:
and how it found its way to Austria’s Thermal Region—remains a mystery to this day. There are two theories: one claims that the variety originated in the French locality St. Laurent in the Medoc region and was brought to Austria by Economic Counselor1 Bronner. Based on how well the St. Laurent grapevine has adapted to the region and how widespread it has become, it is more likely, however, that its origins can be traced to the former Imperial Monarchy. The St. Laurent variety is of great importance in the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Slovak Republic.

The first literary reference is historically documented:
In the year 1863 the “Sankt Laurenztraube” (St. Laurent grape) is mentioned for the first time in the variety and vineyard plan of the Research Station for Viniculture in Klosterneuburg, Austria.

„Next to Pinot Noir, St. Laurent is the most import red wine varietal
in the Thermal Region,” is how vintner Georg Schneider explains the significance of this variety. “The Laurent loves light, almost barren limestone soils. On the other hand, it is finicky about its location: the grapevines thrive on warm, sunny slopes,” says Leopold Auer about the terroir preferences of the St. Laurent grape. As a young wine, St. Laurent can be tart and acidic, so the BurgundyMakers recommend giving the wine enough time to develop before enjoying it in the glass. “Given sufficient opportunity to mature in the bottle, the wines become velvety with delicate fruit and well.integrated tannins,” says Franz Landauer-Gisperg about St. Laurent’s potential.

A festival in honour of the Laurent grape: Laurent night
Every year in August, there is a day dedicated in honour of St. Laurentius, the saint for whom the St. Laurent variety is named. It is this day that marks the beginning of véraison, the onset of ripening. For the past several years, the BurgundyMakers have celebrated the occasion with a “Laurent Night” in the vineyards of Tattendorf.