Friedrich Konzelmann started a winery in the 1800's in Stuttgart, Germany. After many years, the land became too valuable as Stuttgart grew in population and production became harder and harder. Enter Herbert Konzelmann, the great grandson of Friedrich Konzelmann. He became a part of the winery in 1958. When times got tough, he decided to continue a family tradition of making wine and opened Konzelmann Estate Winery in 1984. Why Canada you may ask? I will let their website answer that question:
"Herbert chose the site on the shores of Lake Ontario because of the micro-climate, where the wonderful balance of sun, soil, airflow and moisture conditions are ideal for the production of premium quality wines.
The protection provided by the nearby Niagara Escarpment, combined with the moderating influence of the lake, provides a longer growing period for the "noble" Vitis Vinifera vines of Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Chardonnay grapes."
It seems to be a good choice. In 2008, Konzelmann became the first winery to be featured in the Wine Spectator Top 100 list thanks to their delicious Vidal Icewine.
Konzelmann has a great tasting room and tour. On top of that, they offer a wide variety of varietals for everyone's tasting pleasure. One that peaked our interest was their Canada Red. It is made from the Zweigelt grape which is best known in Austria. It is actually named for Dr. Fritz Zweigelt. He created Zweigelt by crossing St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch.
Zweigelt tends to be a spicy red with strong tannins. Konzelmann though has smoothed this out by adding Merlot and created a nice, easy drinking red wine. It shows great fruit (Raspberry mostly) which almost gives it a sweetness when it first hits the palate. It is well-balanced though because of great spice on the finish (peppercorns). The tannins here are softer which allows it to be more food friendly.
Konzelmann Canada Red in a Nutshell:
Description: Mostly Zweigelt with a touch of Merlot. Shows good Raspberry fruit on the nose and palate. Smooth tannins and hints of pepper throughout. More Pepper shown on a spicy finish.
Pairing: Great with gamey meats such as Lamb and Elk. Also good with rich cheese dishes containing buffalo mozzarella or goat cheese.
Vintage/Price: Current vintage is 2010. It costs $12.75 at the Winery.
For more information on Canada Red and other wines from Konzelmann, please go to: Konzelmann Estate Winery