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Honifogl

Austrian dialect name for the linnet (lat. Carduelis cannabina). The "hemp bird" belongs to the finch family and likes to feed on hemp seeds and grapes. However, the name also has a special reference to an incident in the Austrian wine scene. In 1985, there was the infamous wine scandal. Some winegrowers "improved" wines of low quality with the antifreeze glycol in order to achieve late harvest qualities. Innocently, this brought the term Spätlese into disrepute. The Wachau winegrowers' association Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus (not involved in this scandal) therefore introduced "Honifogl" as a quality term - deliberately with "f" instead of "v". Thereupon a woman Elsa Honifogl from Straß im Straßertal (Kamptal), who had previously had the name protected for a small vineyard, brought a lawsuit. A settlement was reached. Vinea now called its regional brand Smaragd, after the emerald lizard that occurs here in great numbers. Vinea winemaker Franz Hirtzberger then used the old Wachau vineyard designation Honivogl (with "v") for his best Grüner Veltliner and had the name protected for it.

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