7 growing regions

Description to Austria

In Austria, the Celts practiced viticulture almost 3,000 years ago. The Burgenland community Zagersdorf and the Lower Austrian community Stillfried in the Weinviertel are the oldest winegrowing communities in Austria. Grape seeds dating from 700 and 900 BC were found in both towns. Chr. Originate and clearly of the species Vitis vinifera are to be assigned. The repeal of the emperor Domitian (51-96) issued ban on planting vines outside Italy by emperors Probus (232-282) had a positive effect on viticulture. This was the beginning of an orderly wine-growing culture in the Roman provinces of Noricum (Upper and Lower Austria) and Pannonia (Burgenland). In the almost 200 years of turmoil in the migration of peoples from the end of the 4th century, viticulture almost came to a standstill due to many devastations.

Österreich - topographische Landkarte

A revival took place only from the 9th century under the influence of the emperor Charlemagne (742-814). The Order of the Benedictine and Cistercian attributed. In the Middle Ages it was mainly the monasteries (Kremstal) Klosterneuburg (Wagram), Melk Abbey (Wachau) and Heiligenkreuz Abbey (Thermenregion) Carrier of viticulture. This also made a significant contribution Dinstlgut (Wachau). The oldest Austrian wine regulations with regulations regarding working hours and punishments for theft of grapes come from the Habsburg Duke Albrecht II (1298-1358) from 1352. Already in the Middle Ages there was also a division into wine quality classes.

Winegrowing in Austria reached its peak in the 16th century, with around 150,000 to perhaps even 200,000 hectares the vineyard area was at least three times as large as today (50,000 hectares). The Salzburg Mönchsberg was planted with vines as well as the slopes of the Semmering. There were vineyards near Linz ( upper Austria ), at Salzburg and to a large extent also in Carinthia and Tirol, And the capital Wien is literally built on vineyards. The wine book of the clergyman Johann quickly (1540-1612) describes in detail the viticulture, the cellar techniques and the drinking culture this time. By the advent of the beer, high tax burdens and the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) saw a decline in the 17th century. Above all, the tax brought problems, too Ungeld because it was increased from 10% to 30% in just twelve years. As a result, many vineyards were cleared and wheat or other products were grown instead. Inferior grape varieties were now preferred and therefore cheaper mass wine won.

Under Maria Theresa (1717-1780) orders for the use of cheap wine were issued. Many emerged vinegar -Burnies, schnapps distilleries and mustard manufacture , Under Emperor Josef II (1741-1790), on August 17, 1784, a written decree was allowed to own made at place also sell in-house. He laid the foundation for the this year, There were some catastrophes in the 19th century. An extreme cold snap, brought in from America fungal diseases, and as a negative climax the phylloxera devastated entire wine-growing areas. The pest probably came to Austria in 1867 when August-Wilhelm Freiherr von Babo (1827-1894), director of the company founded in 1860 Klosterneuburg Wine Institute, received American vines from Germany.

A milestone in Austrian wine history was made by Robert Schlumberger (1814-1879) set. In 1846, this was after the Méthode champenoise produced "Vöslauer white sparkling wine", which was a great success. After the Second World War, the old structures were changed through rationalization and mechanization. The switch to the new one training system the so-called high culture by Lenz Moser III. (1905-1978) in Rohrendorf near Krems in Lower Austria enabled the use of the most modern equipment. By using diethylene glycol came about in 1985 wine scandal, As a result, however, stricter laws and above all controls were introduced in Austria, which contributed decisively to the quality improvement. In 1993 the project Certification of vines started with the goal of increasing quality in the long term by analyzing and selecting the healthiest vine material.

Climate and soils

Austria is characterized by a continental-Pannonian climate. There are cold winters and hot, dry summers with long ones growth cycle, Warm, sunny summer days with often cool nights and mild autumn days are typical for most winegrowing regions. Average annual rainfall in the east is 400 millimeters, in Styria it can even be 800 millimeters or more. They have a very positive impact on the climate Danube and their two tributaries Krems and Kamp as well as the Lake Neusiedl in Burgenland. In late autumn, grapes of the predicate levels Ausbruch, Bererenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese (or Ausbruch) often ripen on the shores of Europe's second largest steppe lake. Due to the often very low temperatures from December to January, considerable production of ice wine is also possible in the east.

The altitude is usually about 200 meters, in Lower Austria up to 400 meters highest vineyards are located in Styria up to 560 meters above sea level. The wine regions are mostly in temperate climates without extremes, for example at the 47th and 48th latitude; comparable to the French Burgundy, The soil types are quite different. In Lower Austria, loess dominate in the Weinviertel and Danube valleys, in the Kremstal and in the Wachau primeval rocks and in the Kalk thermal region. In Burgenland, the soils consist mainly of slate, clay, marl, loess and sand, and in Styria from brown earth and volcanic soils.

Österreich - generische Weinbaugebiete

wine-growing areas

Austria is in three structured (until 2009 there were four with Wien ). These are wine country (with the generic wine regions Burgenland, Lower Austria and Wien ), Steirerland (Styria) and Bergland (remaining federal states). All nine federal states are generic winegrowing areas, the largest four are divided into specific winegrowing areas (e.g. specific WG Wachau in the generic WG NÖ). All wine regions are in the European Wine-growing zone B (Germany mostly in A). From the 2002 vintage, the origin-specific DAC system introduced. The following hectare values come from different wine regions from different years (2015 to 2017); however, the operating numbers all from 2015:

wine region
TOTAL AUSTRIA 14133 46515 45908
WINE COUNTRY (Burgenland, Lower Austria, Wien ) 11874 41104 41582
Burgenland 3229 13,100 13842
Eisenberg DAC (formerly Südburgenland) 708 515 499
Leithaberg DAC (formerly Neusiedlersee-Hügelland) 924 3097 3576
Mittelburgenland DAC 358 2104 2118
Lake Neusiedl DAC 1339 6675 7649
Rosalia DAC   515 450
Lower Austria 8269 28145 27128
Carnuntum DAC 282 906 910
Kamptal DAC 823 3907 3802
Kremstal DAC 747 2368 2243
Thermenregion 693 2182 2196
Traisental DAC 451 815 789
Wachau With Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus 502 1344 1350
Wagram (formerly Danube land) 926 2720 2452
Weinviertel DAC 3791 13858 13356
without winegrowing area 54 45 -
Wien DAC 276 637 594
STEIRERLAND ( Styria ) 2085 4633 4242
südsteiermark DAC 623 2563 2340
Vulkanland Steiermark (formerly Südoststeiermark) DAC 1199 1524 1401
West Styria DAC 261 546 501
without winegrowing area 2 0.3 -
BERGLAND (Residual-Austria)
Carinthia, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol, Vorarlberg
174 140 80


Österreich - spezifische Weinbaugebiete

Winegrowers and production quantities

The numbers refer to surveys in 2017 ( BKI and ÖWM ) compared to 2009. The number of farms has extremely reduced from 45,380 with an average farm size of 1.28 hectares (1987) to 20,181 with 2.26 hectares (2009) and finally to 14,133 with 3.2 hectares. The number of small businesses (with sales volumes below 5,000 liters) has almost halved. Many small winegrowers with one hectare and fewer vineyards have sold their land to larger companies or have given up farming. The number of efficient companies over 30,000 liters has increased from around 970 to 1,450. The number of producers bottlers of quality wine has dropped from almost 6,500 companies to around 4,000 companies. 2.486 million hectoliters of wine were produced, of which 1.649 white wine = 66% and 0.837 red wine = 34%. The longstanding trend from white wine to red wine has not continued (see also under Wine production volumes ).

Vineyards and varieties

In Austria there are 26 types of white wine and 14 types of red wine Quality wine-grape varieties defined that can be used for all quality types. The designations Weißer Burgunder, Grauer Burgunder, Blauer Burgunder, Rheinriesling and Blaufränkisch are not permitted for "wine with and without grape variety / vintage" in order to avoid confusion due to regions of origin that are supposed to indicate this (Burgundy, Rhine, Franconia). Instead, the names Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Riesling are allowed for these wines. There are also permitted grape varieties for these wines.

The largest vineyard area was in 1980 with 59,432 hectares. From then on, the white wine areas were continuously reduced and the red wine areas expanded. This trend was last stopped. Austria is a typical white wine country, special red wine areas are central and southern Burgenland, western Styria and the thermal region. In 2017, the vineyards covered a total of 46,515 hectares of planted vineyards (in 2009 there were 45,908). The red wine varieties account for 15,370 hectares = 33% (15,770 ha) and the white wine varieties 31,145 hectares = 67% (30,138 ha). There have been no major changes since 2009. At 6.3%, the Grüner Veltliner is also the largest growth of all varieties, with almost a third of the total area and almost half of the white wine varieties at the top. In the case of red wine varieties, the Zweigelt dominates followed by the Blaufränkisch and Blauer Portugieser varieties. The top 5:

Österreich - die Top-5-Rebsorten

Grape variety - Austrian
main name
officially permitted in Austria
colour hectare
% -Ant
Green Valtellina Weißgipfler White 14423 31.0 13518
Zweigelt Blauer Zweigelt, Rotburger red 6426 13.8 6476
- White 3338 7.2 3597
Blaufränkisch - red 3009 6.5 3225
White Riesling Riesling, Rheinriesling White 1986 4.3 1863
White Burgundy Pinot Blanc, Klevner White 1971 4.2 1995
Müller-Thurgau rivaner White 1788 3.8 2102
Chardonnay Morillon (Steiermark) White 1618 3.5 1431
Blue Portuguese - red 1263 2.7 1622
Sauvignon Blanc Muskat-Sylvaner White 1248 2.7 933
muscatel Yellow M., Red M. / Muscat Blanc White 864 1.9 527
Blauburger - red 742 1.6 903
St. Laurent - red 732 1.6 778
Merlot - red 724 1.6 649
According to sentence white - White 671 1.4 807
Blue burgundy Pinot Noir, Blue Pinot Noir red 616 1.3 649
Cabernet Sauvignon - red 589 1.3 594
Neuburger - White 497 1.1 652
Blue Wildbacher - red 459 1.0 450
Frühroter Veltliner malmsey White 367 0.8 424
Scheurebe Seedling 88 White 357 0.8 398
Muscat Ottonel - White 357 0.8 360
Traminer Gewurztraminer, Red T., Yellow T. White 284 0.6 321
Roesler - red 238 0.5 161
Gray burgundy Pinot gris, Ruländer White 226 0.5 222
Bouvier - White 220 0.5 234
Red Veltliner - White 195 0.4 193
According to sentence red - red 156 0.3 51
Syrah Shiraz red 153 0.3 137
Rotgipfler - White 119 0.3 105
Goldburger - White 98 0.2 150
Zierfandler Spätrot White 78 0.2 85
Cabernet Franc - red 75 0.2 56
Sylvaner Green Sylvaner White 38 0.1 43
Rathay - red 35 0.1 9
Furmint - White 11 - 9
Jubiläumsrebe - White 6 - 13
and. white varieties - White 388 0.8 155
and. red varieties - red 155 0.3 9
WHITE VARIETIES     31145 67.0 30138
RED VARIETIES     15370 33.0 15770
TOTAL     46515 100 45908


Wine categories / quality levels

The EU wine market regulations that came into force in 2009 brought about fundamental changes in quality levels. The new EU-compliant names PGI (protected geographical indication) and PDO (Protected origin) were banned in Austria in order not to confuse consumers and to keep the old designations country wine and quality wine / predicate wine. The three levels are (the first two are considered one):

  • Wine without a closer indication of origin (formerly the now prohibited term )
  • Wine with grape varieties and / or vintage
  • Country wine (use of PGI is not permitted)
  • Quality wine and quality wine (PDO is not permitted)

Wine without variety and / or vintage - Wine from Austria :

  • maximum three times the average hectare yield
  • no other cultivation and production rules
  • to a small extent wine faults such as B. easier sulfurous off allowed

Wine with variety and / or vintage - wine from Austria

  • free of defects in appearance, smell and taste
  • Maximum hectare yield 9,000 kg grapes or 6,750 l wine (see below for yield)
  • at least 3.5 g / l total acid
  • Quality wine grape varieties and others through country-specific regulation
  • Variety information only for the above-mentioned quality wine grape varieties
  • Minimum alcohol content 8.5% vol
  • maximum enrichment 2%

country wine

  • Grapes from one ; only this is permitted as origin
  • Maximum hectare yield 9,000 kg grapes or 6,750 l wine (see below for yield)
  • only quality wine grape varieties
  • at least 14 ° KMW must weight
  • Alcohol content max. 13.5% vol for white wine, max. 14.5% vol for red wine
  • at least 4 g / l total acid
  • Sweetening to a maximum of 15 g / l

quality wine

  • positive sensory and analytical testing = State test number
  • Grapes from one wine region (Origin at DAC is a specific wine-growing area, other quality wines only a generic wine-growing area)
  • Production in the wine-growing region of the wine-growing region or in the adjacent region
  • only quality wine grape varieties
  • Maximum hectare yield 9,000 kg grapes or 6,750 l wine (see below for yield)
  • at least 15 ° KMW must weight
  • Alcohol content of at least 9% vol (predicate wine 5% vol)
  • at least 4 g / l total acid
  • Sweetening to a maximum of 15 g / l

  • higher quality wine level (in contrast to Germany no quality wine)
  • at least 17 ° KMW
  • maximum 12.9% (13% until 2016) vol alcohol content maximum 4 g / l residual sugar or 9 g / l


Also a quality wine according to EU law, since there are officially only the three quality levels mentioned. However, traditional designations may continue to be used, which is also used by other countries such as B. Germany. Italy (DOC and DOCG) and Spain (DO and DOCa) is used. According to Austrian wine law, a predicate wine is a higher level of quality wine. There are the six predicate wine types late harvest, selection, berry selection, dry berry selection or outbreak, straw wine and ice wine. General provisions are:

  • must comply with all quality wine regulations
  • Residual sugar may only be obtained by interrupting fermentation
  • Sweetening or enrichment is not permitted
  • Alcohol content at least 5% vol
  • from selection grapes with overripe, noble rot and dried berries ( Botrytis )

late vintage : At least 19 ° KMW; fully ripe grapes.

choice : At least 21 ° KMW; fully ripe, selected grapes.

Beerenauslese : At least 25 ° KMW; overripe and / or rotten grapes.

outbreak : At least 27 ° KMW, only noble rot, overripe and dried berries. The designation may only be used for Rust outbreak be used.

Trockenbeerenauslese : To the. 30 ° KMW; noble rot, shrunken grapes.

Strohwein : As an alternative, the term reed wine has also been permitted since 2002. At least 25 ° KMW must weight. Must be produced from fully ripe and sugar-rich berries that were stored on straw, reeds or hung on cords for at least three months before pressing. According to an amendment to the law in 2002, however, the grapes can be squeezed out after two months if a must weight of at least 30 ° KMW is reached. If the must levels are not reached, the wine can (must) be marketed as a quality wine.

Eiswein : At least 25 ° KMW. The grapes are pressed and pressed in the frozen state. If the must levels are not reached, the wine can (must) be marketed as a quality wine.

special types of wine

There are a number of specific names or types of wine with wine-related requirements. These are . Ausstich. Classic (Classical) Epiphany wine. injected. Leopoldiwein. Jubiläumswein. Virgin Wine (First reading), Martini wine. altar wine. Nikolowein. Primus (First) Premium. reserve (Great Reserve, Grande Reserve), Selection (Selection, Grande Selection), Stefani wine. tradition and Christmas wine, Other types of wine are:

Mountain wine: Permissible for country wine and quality wine if grapes from terrace or steep slopes with a slope come from over 26%

Winery : Description for wine regardless of the quality level from grapes harvested exclusively in Austria and produced in Austria. However, the wine may only be sold to resellers by 31 December of the year following the harvest and to the consumer by 31 March of the following year. This year, however, is also the term used in Austria for Buschenschank.

Storm : Protected name for a partially fermented grape must. The existing alcohol content must be at least 1.0% and can be up to 10% vol.

Mixed sentence : Within the EU, this protected term is reserved exclusively for Austria. Vienna mixed set is a DAC wine,

Biowein : The production is at least subject to the guidelines according to the EU organic regulation, as well as the often stricter rules of organic associations. The Austrian umbrella organization is Bio Austria (see also under Organic viticulture ).

Austrian sparkling wine : A sparkling wine pyramid with the three levels "Classic", "Reserve" and "Large Reserve" was introduced from the 2015 vintage. See under sparkling wine,

important wine law provisions

The Austrian standard work on wine law is "Weingesetz" (Manz publishing house), which in the 5th edition published in 2012 comprises 818 pages. It offers a representation of the entire wine law including all regulations and EU regulations. There is also the electronic database RIS (legal information system) with, among other things, contributions under wine law (see also under wine law and EU regulations ).

Mostgewicht : There is a minimum must weight for each quality level (see above).

earnings : For wine without grape variety / vintage, a maximum of three times the average hectare yield of a business; for all other quality levels, a maximum hectare yield of kilograms of grapes or liters of wine applies. If the maximum amount is exceeded, the entire harvest of a vintage must be marketed as wine without a grape or vintage name. The yield quantities must be by means of harvest declaration the BKI (Bundeskellereiinspektion), which also checks compliance.

The maximum amount per hectare is 9,000 kg of grapes or 6,750 l per hectare of vineyards entered and planted in the vineyard list for the production of wine, country, quality or quality wine (1.33 kg of grapes gives 1 l of wine). After converting the vineyard list to the content requirements of the integrated administration and control system, this maximum amount of hectares is 10,000 kg of grapes or 7,500 l of wine. Until the changeover (probably in 2018), the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management can, by ordinance at the request of the National Wine Committee, reduce or increase the maximum amount of hectares for the harvest of a year by up to 20%, if the climatic or wine-related framework conditions for require this year. This authorization was used for the 2016 vintage and the maximum yield increased from 9,000 to 10,800 kg / ha.

origin : For wine (without grape variety / vintage) only EU or Austria may be specified, for country wine the wine-growing region must be specified, smaller units (wine-growing region, large location, municipality) are not permitted. From quality wine, closer origins (wine-growing region, wine-growing region, large area, municipality, Ried in connection with municipality names) may be used if the wine comes 100% from the specified area.

vintage : An indication is only permitted for wine without grape variety / vintage. For the other quality levels, the proportion must be at least 85% of the specified vintage. sweeteners Dosage are not among the 15%. When harvested next year (January or later) Eiswein the previous year must be given.

varieties : An entry is only permitted for wine (without grape variety / vintage). For the other quality levels, the proportion must be at least 85% of the specified grape variety. In the case of two or more grape varieties, the names may be given in descending order according to their quantity, if they add up to 100%. The information unmixed is only allowed if the wine is 100% from the specified grape variety. The grape variety (s) must be specified for late harvesting and selection.

Mixing grapes, mash, must or wine from red wine and white wine grapes is only permitted for wine without a vintage / variety. These wines may not be called red or white wine, but only "Austrian wine".

sugar content : Austria has made use of the right to specify the salary residual sugar at the label to be defined as mandatory. A wine is considered dry with a maximum of 4 g / l (previously the extra dry which was no longer permitted) or with a maximum of 9 g / l if the total acidity is not more than 2 g / l lower than the residual sugar. At z. B. 8 g / l requires at least 6 g / l total acid. The remaining grades are medium-dry with 12 g / l or 18 g / l if the total acidity is not more than 10 g / l lower, lovely with a higher value than for semi-dry but maximum 45 g / l, as well sweet with at least 45 g / l. Are not relevant to wine law tart and Austrian dry,

sweetening (Increase residual sugar): Wine with and without grape variety / vintage may be sweetened by a maximum of 4% vol alcohol; this is approx. 68 g / l residual sugar, which corresponds to approx. 5 ° KMW. In contrast, country wine and quality wine may be sweetened up to a maximum of 15 g / l residual sugar. Country wine (this is new) and quality wine (remained the same) can be sweetened up to a maximum of 15 g / l of fermented sugar. This can be done by adding grape must, concentrated grape must or (which is rare) RTK (Rectified grape must). Sucrose is considered sweeteners forbidden. In principle, sweetening is not permitted for Kabinett and Prädikatswein.

enrich (Increase in the natural alcohol content): May be carried out for all types of wine by a maximum of 2% vol alcohol content using the approved means. After use, the maximum for country wine and quality wine is 18 g / l residual sugar allowed (previously 15 g / l). The alcohol content of wine without and with grape variety / vintage may be up to 12% for white wine, and up to 12.5% vol for red wine; for white country wine or quality wine up to a maximum of 13.5% vol; as well as with red country wine and quality wine up to a maximum of 14.5% vol alcohol. In principle, enrichment is not permitted for Kabinett and Prädikatswein.

Institutions and bodies

Important institutions, bodies, authorities and research institutes that perform research, organizing, controlling, publishing or training functions in connection with viticulture are among others BKI (Federal Wine inspection), Klosterneuburg Wine Institute. ÖWM (Austria Wine Marketing), Silberberg (Weinbauinstitut) and Wine Academy Austria,

Influential wine authors or wine critic are Christa Hanten, Helmut O. bang, Walter coachman, Peter Moser, Michael Prónay, Peter Schleimer, Viktor Siegl and Rudolf Steurer, They work in many wine magazines and wine guides how A la carte - magazine for drinking and eating culture. Falstaff Wine Guide Austria / South Tyrol. Gault Millau. Kutscher's food notes. Vinaria wine guide and Wine-Guide-Austria / Wine-Times.

Maps: ÖWM - Austria Wein Marketing GmbH .
Grape varieties: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)

In the wine guide you will find
currently 135 738 Wines and 22 897 Producers, including 1 541 classified producers.
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