7 growing regions

Description to Austria

In Austria already since the time of the settlement by the Celts Winegrowing operated just under 3,000 years ago. The Burgenland community Zagersdorf and the Lower Austrian community Stillfried in the Weinviertel are considered the oldest wine-growing communities in Austria. In both places grape seeds were found, which from the time 700 and 900 v. Chr. Chr. Originate and clearly the species Vitis vinifera are assigned. The lifting of the emperor Domitian (51-96) ban on the planting of vines outside Italy by emperors Probus (232-282) had a positive effect on viticulture. For in the Roman provinces of Noricum (Upper and Lower Austria) and Pannonia (Burgenland) an orderly viticulture culture began. In the almost 200 years of turmoil of 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 again only from the 9th century under the influence of Emperor Charlemagne (742-814). Special services to the viticulture are the order of the Benedictine and Cistercian attributed. In the Middle Ages were mainly the monasteries (Kremstal) Stift Klosterneuburg (Wagram), Stift Melk (Wachau) and Stift Heiligenkreuz (Thermenregion) Carrier of the viticulture culture. This also made a significant contribution Dinstlgut (Wachau). The oldest Austrian winegrowing regulations with regulations regarding working hours and stipulated punishments in case of grape theft stems from the Habsburg Duke Albrecht II (1298-1358) from the year 1352. Even in the Middle Ages there was also a classification into wine quality classes.

In the 16th century, viticulture reached its peak in Austria, the vineyard was at least three times as large as today (50,000 ha) with about 150,000 to perhaps even 200,000 hectares. The Salzburg monk mountain was also planted with vines as the slopes of 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 cellaring techniques and the drinking culture this time. Due to the advent of the beer, high tax burdens and the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), however, it came in the 17th century to a decline. Above all, the tax brought problems, too Ungeld It has been increased from 10% to 30% within just twelve years. As a result, many vineyards were cleared and wheat or other products were grown instead. Now inferior grape varieties were preferred and cheaper mass wine won.

Under Maria Theresa (1717-1780) orders were issued for the use of cheap wine. It originated many vinegar-settlers, liquor distilleries and mustard production , Under Emperor Josef II (1741-1790) was allowed on 17 August 1784 in a written decree, the own made at place also to sell in your own house. He thus laid the foundation for the this year, In the 19th century, there were some disasters. An extreme cold snap, imported from America fungal diseases, as well as a negative climax the phylloxera devastated whole wine-growing areas. The pest probably reached Austria in 1867, when August-Wilhelm Freiherr von Babo (1827-1894), director of the founded in 1860 Klosterneuburger Weinbauinstituts, from Germany got American vines.

A milestone in the Austrian wine history was by Robert Schlumberger (1814-1879). This presented in 1846 after the Méthode champenoise produced "Vöslauer white sparkling wine", which became a great success. After the Second World War, the old structures were changed through rationalization and mechanization. The change to the new one training system the so-called high culture by Lenz Moser III. (1905-1978) in Rohrendorf at Krems in Lower Austria enabled the use of state-of-the-art equipment. By using diethylene glycol it came in 1985 to wine scandal, As a result, stricter laws and, above all, controls were introduced in Austria, which made a decisive contribution to improving quality. In 1993 the project became Certification of vines started with the aim to improve the quality in the long term by analyzing and selecting the best possible vine material.

Climate and soils

Austria is characterized by a continental-pannonian climate. There are cold winters and hot, dry summers with a long one growth cycle, Warm, sunny summer days with often cool nights and mild autumn days are typical of most wine regions. The average annual rainfall in the East is 400 millimeters, in Styria it can even be 800 millimeters and more. The climate has a very positive influence on the climate Danube and her two tributaries Krems and Kamp as well as the Lake Neusiedl in Burgenland. On the banks of the second largest steppe lake in Europe, grapes of the predicate stages outbreak, berry selection and Trockenbeerenauslese (or outbreak) often mature in late autumn. Due to the often very low temperatures from December to January, a considerable production of ice wine is possible in the East.

The altitude is usually about 200 meters, in Lower Austria to 400 meters, the highest vineyards are located in Styria to 560 meters above sea level. The vineyards are mostly in temperate climates without extremes, such as on the 47th and 48th parallel; comparable to the French Burgundy, The soil types are quite different. In Lower Austria, in the Weinviertel and in the Danube valley loess, in the Kremstal valley and in the Wachau primary rock and in the Thermenregion Kalk prevail. In Burgenland, the soils consist mainly of slate, clay, marl, loess and sand, as well as of brown earth and volcanic soil in Styria.

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 (other federal states). All nine federal states are generic winegrowing areas, the largest four are divided into specific winegrowing areas (eg 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 year 2002, the origin-specific DAC system introduced. The following hectares are different for each wine-growing region from different years (2015 to 2017); however the operating figures 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 Southern Burgenland) 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 Donauland) 926 2720 2452
Weinviertel DAC 3791 13858 13356
without a winegrowing area 54 45 -
Wien DAC 276 637 594
STEIRERLAND ( Styria ) 2085 4633 4242
südsteiermark DAC 623 2563 2340
Volcano country Styria (formerly Southeast Styria) DAC 1199 1524 1401
West Styria DAC 261 546 501
without a winegrowing area 2 0.3 -
BERGLAND (Residual-Austria)
Carinthia, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol, Vorarlberg
174 140 80


Österreich - spezifische Weinbaugebiete

Winegrowing operations and production quantities

The figures refer to surveys in 2017 ( BKI and ÖWM ) compared to 2009. The number of holdings has been greatly 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 volume below 5,000 liters) has almost halved. Many small vintagers with one hectare and less vineyard size have sold their land to larger farms or abandoned the management. The number of efficient plants over 30,000 liters has risen from around 970 to 1,450. The number of producers bottlers Qualitätswein has dropped from just under 6,500 companies to around 4,000. There were 2,486 million hectoliters of wine produced, of which 1,649 white wine = 66% and 0.837 red wine = 34%. The long-term trend from white wine to red wine has not continued (see also under Wine production volumes ).

Vineyards and grape varieties

In Austria, 26 white wine and 14 red wine varieties are considered Quality wine-grape varieties defined, which may be used for all quality types. The terms white burgundy, gray burgundy, blue burgundy, Rhine Riesling and Blaufränkisch are not permitted for "wine with and without grape variety / vintage" in order to exclude confusion due to supposedly indicative regions of origin (Burgundy, Rhine, Franconia). Instead, however, the names Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Riesling are allowed for these wines. In addition, there are additional permitted grape varieties for these wines.

The largest vineyard area in 1980 was 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, West Styria and the Thermenregion. In 2017, the vineyards covered a total of 46,515 hectares of planted vineyards (in 2009 there were 45,908). Of these, the red varieties account for 15,370 hectares = 33% (15,770 ha) and the white varieties 31,145 hectares = 67% (30,138 ha). Compared to 2009, there were no major changes. The Grüner Veltliner is also the largest gain of all varieties with 6.3% with almost a third of the total area and almost half of the white varieties at the top. The red wines are dominated by the Zweigelt followed by the varieties Blaufränkisch and Blauer Portugieser. 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 Blue Zweigelt, Rotburger red 6426 13.8 6476
- White 3338 7.2 3597
Blaufränkisch - red 3009 6.5 3225
White Riesling Riesling, Rhine Riesling 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
Gem. Set knows - 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
Gem. Set 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 2009 valid EU wine market regulations brought fundamental changes in quality levels. The new EU-compliant designations (protected geographical indication) and (protected origin) were banned in Austria in order not to confuse consumers and to maintain the old designations Landwein and Qualitätswein / Prädikatswein. The three levels are (the first two are considered one):

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

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

  • a maximum of three times the average yield per hectare
  • 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

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

country wine

  • Grapes from one ; only this is allowed as an origin
  • Hectare maximum yield 9,000 kg of grapes or 6,750 l of 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 with red wine
  • at least 4 g / l of total acid
  • Sweetening to a maximum of 15 g / l

quality wine

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

  • higher quality wine (in contrast to Germany no predicate 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 under EU law, since there are officially only the three quality levels mentioned. However, traditional names may continue to be used, which is also true of other countries such. B. Germany. Italy (DOC and DOCG) and Spain (DO and DOCa) is used. According to Austrian wine law, a predicate wine is thus a higher grade of quality wine. There are the six predicate wine types Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese or Ausbruch, straw wine and Eiswein. General provisions are:

  • must comply with all quality wine regulations
  • Residual sugar may only be obtained by fermentation interruption
  • Sweetening or enriching is not allowed
  • Alcohol content at least 5% vol
  • from Auslese grapes with overripe, noble rotten and dried berries ( Botrytis )

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

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

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

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

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

Strohwein : Since 2002, alternatively, the term reed wine is permitted. At least 25 ° KMW must weight. Must be made from fully ripened and sugar-rich berries that had been stored on straw, reeds or hung on strings for at least three months prior to pressing. According to a law amendment in 2002, however, the grapes can also be pressed after two months, when a must weight of at least 30 ° KMW is reached. If the must levels are not reached, the wine may (must) be marketed as quality wine.

Eiswein : At least 25 ° KMW. The grapes are pressed and pressed frozen. If the degree of must is not reached, the wine may (must) be marketed as quality wine.

special types of wine

There are a number of specific names or types of wine with wine legislation. 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:

Bergwein : For country wine and quality wine then permitted, if grapes from terraced or steep slopes with a slope over 26%

Winery : Designation for wine, regardless of quality level, made exclusively from grapes harvested in Austria and produced in Austria. However, the wine may only be delivered to retailers by 31 December of the year following the harvest and to the consumer by 31 March of the following year. Heuriger is also the common name in Austria for Buschenschank.

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

Mixed set : This origin-protected term is reserved exclusively for Austria within the EU. Viennese mixed sentence is a DAC wine,

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

Austrian sparkling wine : Starting in 2015, a champagne quality pyramid has been introduced with the three levels "Classic", "Reserve" and "Large Reserve". See under sparkling wine,

important wine regulations

The Austrian standard reference regarding wine right is "Weingesetz" (Manz publishing house), which in the 2012 published 5th edition comprises 818 pages. It provides a representation of the entire wine law including all regulations and EU regulations. Furthermore, there is the electronic database RIS (legal information system) with, inter alia, wine law contributions (see also under wine law and EU regulations ).

Mostgewicht For every quality level there is a minimum must weight (see above).

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

The maximum amount per hectare is 9,000 kg of grapes or 6,750 l per hectare of vineyard area registered and planted in the vineyard register for the production of wine, land, quality or predicate wine (1.33 kg of grapes yields 1 l of wine). Following the conversion of the vineyard index to the content requirements of the integrated administration and control system, this maximum quantity per hectare will be 10,000 kg of grapes or 7,500 l of wine. Until the changeover (probably in 2018), the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management can reduce or increase the maximum hectar amount for the harvest of a year by up to 20% by ordinance at the request of the National Wine Committee, if this is the climatic or winemaking 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 In the case of wine (without grape variety / vintage), only EU or Austria may be used; for land wine, the winegrowing region must be indicated; smaller units (winegrowing area, large estate, municipality) are not permitted. From quality wine, closer origins (winegrowing region, winegrowing area, large-scale estate, municipality, Ried in connection with commune names) may be used when the wine is 100% from the specified area.

vintage : An indication is only permitted for wine without grape variety / vintage. For the other quality grades, the proportion must be at least 85% of the given year. sweeteners Dosage do not count to the 15%. In the next year (January or later) harvested Eiswein indicate the previous year.

varieties : An indication is only permitted for wine (without grape variety / vintage). For the other quality grades, the proportion must be at least 85% of the grape variety indicated. 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 indication unmixed is only allowed if the wine is 100% from the grape variety. For late harvesting and readout the grape variety (s) must be indicated.

The mixing of grapes, mash, cider or wine from red wine and white wine grapes is only allowed for wine without vintage / variety. These wines may not be referred to as red wine or white wine, but only as "wine from Austria".

sugar content : Austria has made use of the right to indicate the salary residual sugar at the label as compulsory. When dry is a wine with a maximum of 4 g / l (formerly no longer allowed extra dry) or with a maximum of 9 g / l if the total acidity not more than 2 g / l lower than the residual sugar. At z. B. 8 g / l, this requires at least 6 g / l total acid. The remaining degrees are medium-dry 12 g / l or 18 g / l, if the total acidity is not more than 10 g / l lower, lovely with higher value than for semi-dry but maximum 45 g / l, as well sweet with at least 45 g / l. Wine legally not relevant 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 content; this is about 68 g / l residual sugar which corresponds to approx. 5 ° KMW. On the other hand, country wine and quality wine may be sweetened up to a maximum of 15 g / l of residual sugar. Landwein (that is new) and Qualitätswein (the same) can be sweetened up to a maximum of 15 g / l of unfermented sugar. This can be done by adding grape must, concentrated grape must or (which is rare) RTK (Rectified grape must). Sucrose is as sweeteners forbidden. Sweetening is not permitted for Cabinet and Prädikatswein.

enrich (Increase of natural alcoholic strength): For all types of wine a maximum of 2% by volume of alcoholic strength may be used by authorized means. After application, the maximum for land wine and quality wine is 18 g / l residual sugar permissible (previously 15 g / l). The alcohol content of wine with and without grape variety / vintage for white wine may not exceed 12%, for red wine it may not exceed 12,5% vol. for white country wine or quality wine up to a maximum of 13.5% vol; as well as red country wine and quality wine up to a maximum of 14.5% vol alcohol content. In Cabinet and Prädikatswein enrichment is principally not allowed.

Institutions and bodies

Important institutions, committees, authorities and research institutes which carry out researching, organizing, controlling, journalistic or educational functions in connection with viticulture are amongst others BKI (Federal Wine inspection), Klosterneuburger Weinbauinstitut. ÖWM (Austria Wine Marketing), Silberberg (Weinbauinstitut) and Wine Academy Austria,

Influential wine writers 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 as A la Carte - Magazine for Drinking and Food Culture. Falstaff Wine Guide Austria / South Tyrol. Gault Millau. Coachman's food notes. Vinaria Wine Guide and Wine-Guide-Austria / Wine-Times.

Tickets: ÖWM - Austria Wein Marketing GmbH .
Grape varieties: Ursula Bruehl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)

In the wine guide you will find
currently 133 455 Wines and 23 043 Producers, including 1 395 classified producers.
Rating system About Their sources in Wine Guide Wine Samples


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