Austrian wine is subject to many different environmental influences. Sparkling pearl wines, classically fresh to full-bodied white wines, rosé wines such as the Schilcher, fruity red wines and also noble sweet ice wines thrive here.
The unique and central location is at the same altitude as the French wine-growing region of Burgundy and brings with it both a humid and mild Atlantic climate and a dry, Pannonian continental climate. Warm summer days meet relatively cool nights. The results are aromatic, full-bodied and characteristic wines.
Here is an overview of the climate zones:
The land and the grape varieties
Beautiful Austria is a worldwide known tourist destination. Especially the combination of hospitality, pleasure and wine culture is incomparable. The different geological conditions characterize the 46,500 hectares of wine growing areas.
Incomparable landscapes, such as the classic wine-growing regions along the Danube, the rugged, small-scale hilly landscapes in Styria and Burgenland with its lakes as natural jewels not only bring many advantages for winegrowing, but are also something for the eye. Decisive, apart from the climate, is the Austrian soil, which offers not only loess layers and stone terraces but also calcareous and volcanic subsoils. Especially Chardonnay, Gelber Muskateller, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Muskateller and Weißburgunder are very popular here. The Grüner Veltliner is known far beyond the borders of the country and has secured its place at the international top of the world. Red wine varieties with special finesse, such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet can develop optimally in certain locations. Austria is also known for Uhudler, Zierfandler, Rotgipfler, Schilcher (from the Blaue Wildbacher grape) and its typical red wines from Zweigelt, Blaufränisch and St. Laurent.
The culture and the wine
Austrian culture is inevitably linked to the cultivation of wine. The knowledge of wine production was already transferred by the Romans and further developed in monasteries. Through tradition combined with new wine creations, Austria today is one of the most modern wine producing countries in the world.
The Austrian wine law
The Austrian wine law is integrated into the European wine law, whose highest regulation is the EU wine market regulation. Here, all the basic principles of wine law, such as viticulture, subsidies, distillation and protected designations of origin are regulated and recorded. All these regulations are to be observed by the member states. In addition to the European regulations, Austria has introduced further provisions on wine production, oenology, quality levels, origin and traditional designations, control and administration. Austrian quality, predicate and origin-typical DAC wines are subject to double state control. These wines are marked with a state control number and the red-white-red banderole.
Wine from Styria
The Styrian Junker is a young quality wine from Styria, which is presented annually at the beginning of November. The protected wine brand has now been in existence for 20 years and is represented by the well-known logo with Styrian hat and gamsbart. Influenced by the Mediterranean climate, the South Styrian Junker is developed into a young wine with particularly slender and fruity finesse. This and numerous other young wines from other Austrian states are marketed under the name " Young Austrian".
The special features
The Junker is the harbinger of every wine year. Those wines that pass the quality control in the laboratory and by a jury of experts may bear this name. In addition, of course, the requirements for the specified Junker production criteria must be met: A maximum of 12% alcohol content and a maximum residual sugar content of 3 grams per liter of wine. The sale of this fine and light wine may only start from the Wednesday before St. Martin's Day in November and continue until 30 April of the following year.
For the Styrian young wine, early-ripening grape varieties such as Müller Thurgau, Sämling 88, Welschriesling, Rivaner and Sauvignon Blanc are particularly well suited. A small proportion is also made from red or rosé wines, for example from Blauer Zweigelt or Schilcher.
A distinction is made between
With 546 hectares of vineyards, Western Styria produces an incredible wealth of wines. From fine white wines to Schilcher wines with an affinity for acid, you can find everything here. The regional "Blaue Wildbacher grapes" are used for the production of Schilcher, but are known far beyond the borders of the state.
Wines from Western Styria
The West Styrian figurehead is undeniably the Schilcher. This light pink rosé wine tastes like red berries (raspberries to forest berries) and is also quite acidic. The name "Schilcher" comes from the play of the iridescent and shiny colors the wine can take on. Only Schilcher wine from Western Styria may bear the name "Weststeiermark DAC". Only here the wine can unfold its typical taste potential. In addition, well-known Styrian white wine varieties such as Pinot Blanc, Welschriesling, Morillon and Sauvignon Blanc are also cultivated.
The wine growing area
The smallest growing area in Styria stretches in the form of a long narrow strip from north to south. The Koralpe serves as a protective shield against the wind and lets the temperatures rise considerably during the day. Due to this protection the primary Illyrian climate with Mediterranean but also alpine weather influences and a lot of rain is created. All these influences shape the varietal character and thus the taste, smell and color characteristics of the wine.
In the south of the green Mark you will find fresh wines with a pleasant scent of flowers. The wine-growing area extends over 2,500 hectares and is known for its heavy cultivation. The Sauvignon Blanc is the so-called leading variety of Southern Styria.
Wines from Southern Styria
Since no other region emphasizes the advantages of Sauvignon Blanc as well as the Südsteiermark, only this grape variety is cultivated here on about one fifth of the total area under cultivation. The taste spectrum includes both light and elegant wines. Therefore, aromatic Gelbe Muskateller, Riesling and Burgundy of unique quality can be found here.
The wine growing area
The variety of tastes of the wines is as varied as the landscape. Picturesque hilly landscapes characterize the image of this region. The foundation of many vineyards is a massive sedimentary layer, which has been formed over millions of years from marine deposits. Schlieren, sand, conglomerates and gravel also pile up there. The Mediterranean climate, with the influence of the cold nights, has an effect on the vegetation and subsequently on the wines.
Southern Styria DAC
Among the authorised grape varieties are the Gelber Muskateller, the Grauburgunder, the Morillon, the Muskateller, the Sauvignon Blanc, the Weißburgunder, the Welschriesling, the Riesling, the Traminer and Cuvées.
Through the labeling it is immediately recognizable whether it is a regional, area, local or Riedenwein. This designation of origin (Ried, Ortsangabe) including the abbreviation "DAC" (Districtur Austriae Controllatus) must be placed on the main label.
The main varieties of the local wines are:
Volcanic country Styria
The Volcanic Land Region covers about 1,500 hectares and was named after its steep slopes left over from former volcanoes. The area is located in the south-east of Styria and reaches up to the Hungarian and Slovenian border.