Great joy at and with the winners of the BOKU Wine Award 2023: (from left) Astrid Forneck, a fellow student standing in for Christoph Zigeuner, Kristin Orben, Lukas Lang, Georg Jauk and Rector Eva-Schulev-Steindl. ©BOKU/Christoph Gruber

Great joy at and with the winners of the BOKU Wine Award 2023: (from left) Astrid Forneck, a fellow student standing in for Christoph Zigeuner, Kristin Orben, Lukas Lang, Georg Jauk and Rector Eva-Schulev-Steindl. ©BOKU/Christoph Gruber

White and red, sparkling and bubbly: wines were once again the focus of the coveted student competition surrounding the awarding of the official BOKU Wines 2023. On May 11, they were tasted at the University and Research Center Tulln (UFT) and found to be excellent.

For 14 years now, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, together with the ÖH BOKU, has been organizing this competition for wines that come from a family winery of enrolled students. This is an ideal opportunity for young winemakers to draw attention to themselves.

In addition to the established bachelor's degree program in agricultural sciences with a focus on viticulture and enology, since 2015 there has also been the opportunity to study the international master's program in viticulture, enology and wine business - "Master WÖW" for short - at BOKU.

Grape juice sommeliers

Already in the run-up to the wine awards, the BOKU Grape Juice of the Year was chosen from 7 candidates by the students* of the Tulln Elementary School II. But what are the criteria to succeed among the fourth graders*? "The juice must be neither too sweet nor too sour," explained jury head Klaus Dürrschmid from the BOKU Institute of Food Science and head of the sensory lab there, who had words of praise for the juice jurors. "As always, the students were top-motivated and in less than an hour the winner was decided." The clear choice of the young connoisseurs fell on the red grape juice of the WÖW master student Christoph Zigeuner from the Zigeuner wine farm in Neusiedl/Berndorf (Lower Austria).

And the BOKU Wine of the Year goes to....

The evening's tasting then focused on the wines. This year, too, the top-class 23-member jury headed by BOKU alumnus and VINARIA editor Rüdiger Pröll was pleasantly spoiled for choice. Lovingly prepared and served by Master WÖW students, 17 white wines and 6 red wines were available for tasting. "The internationality of the grape varieties of this year's wines are also a reflection of the internationality of BOKU," the tasting director was pleased to say.

At 7 p.m. the time had come: BOKU Rector Eva Schulev-Steindl as well as Astrid Forneck (Head of the Institute of Viticulture and Pomology), Ass.Prof. Klaus Dürrschmid and Jakob Scherf, representing the ÖH Chair, announced this year's winners on the stage of the UFT auditorium.

And the winners* of the BOKU award 2023 are


Georg Jauk, organic winery Tor zur Sonne, 2162 Falkenstein 143.
Riesling 2022

Lukas Lang, Winery Wolfgang Lang, Hofberg 27, 8222 St. Johann bei Herberstein
Merlot 2020 Reserve

Kristin Orben, Naheweinstr. 20th, 55452 Guldental (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Chenin Blanc

Christoph Zigeuner, Franz Zigeuner Winery, Dorfstrasse, Neusiedl 27, 2560 Berndorf
Red grape juice

Rector Eva Schulev-Steindl emphasized that wine, with the influence that soil, climate and the sun have on its quality, connects people with nature, and likewise a combination of craftsmanship and knowledge is essential to its production: "Wine is a cultural asset and the only work of art that you can also drink." In any case, the jury had worked hard, said Schulev-Steindl with a twinkle in his eye, to select the BOKU Wines of the Year.

Bernhard Heinrichsberger, member of the provincial parliament, who attended the event on behalf of provincial governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner, also emphasized that "wine is a craft and a masterpiece." "My respect goes to the dedication of the winemakers* and the high quality of their wines."
"To see that so many students are present and what power emanates from these young people makes confident and shows the high competence that exists at BOKU," Tulln Mayor Peter Eisenschenk was pleased.

Astrid Forneck was then able to present a product of her competent and motivated students out of competition on the stage: The "Tertiaire". "The students produced this sparkling wine from grapes from the BOKU vineyard as part of practical exercises," explained the head of the Institute of Viticulture and Pomology at the award ceremony.

Jakob Scherf, who was present on behalf of the ÖH BOKU chair, who were eagerly awaiting the results of the nationwide ÖH elections, was pleased that the 14th edition of the wine award ceremony after the pandemic years could take place "again in full splendor and size".

Provided with the coveted BOKU wine seal, juice and award-winning wines go on sale in the ÖH-BOKU Shop.

Dr. Ulrike Anhalt-Brüderl
Institut für Wein- und Obstbau
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien

Email: ulrike.anhalt(at)
Telefon: +43 1 47654-95815