Steiermark, or Styria, is one of nine states (Bundesländer) in Austria, forming a portion of its southern border with Slovenia. Characterized by its mountains, alpine meadows, forests and deep river valleys, it is sometimes referred to as “the Green Heart of Austria.” Its capital city is Graz. Despite high elevations along its southern borders, the continental climate is moderated by Mediterranean influences, enabling Austria’s most diverse array of white wine varieties—Sauvignon blanc, Weissburgunder (Pinot blanc), Welschriesling, Traminer and Muskateller—within its Süd-Oststeiermark, Südsteiermark and Weststeiermark wine regions. Weststeirmark is also noteworthy for its spicy, high-acid Schilcher rosés, made from the indigenous Blauer Wildbacher grown there. To the north, vineyards give way to forests, farms and orchards ideal for the production of the great Austrian tradition of schnaps as well as that distinct Styrian specialty, roasted pumpkin seed oil.
Zirbenz draws all of its high alpine flavors and natural earthy red colors from the freshly picked fruit of the Arolla Stone Pine grown in the Austrian Alps. The young full cones are still fresh and sweet, giving a smooth layer of berry fruit over an intricate, pine-floral backbone, with a slight minty freshness. Enjoy on its own as digestive or après-ski, with tonic or soda, or in cocktails incorporating gin or hoppy beer. Handcrafted and bottled in Austria by Josef Hofer, a family distillery since 1797. Full details