What is the climate of Austria?
Why are the winemaking regions in Austria clustered in the eastern part of the country?
Because the Alps in western Austria are unsuitable for viticulture.
Which river runs through Niederösterreich (Lower Austria)?
The Danube River
Why are summers generally warmer in Austria than in Germany?
Because Austria opens up to the Pannonian Plain, which is a large flatland (and former sea) that helps usher in warm air that accumulates between the Alps and Carpathian Mountains.
This warm air helps eastern Austrian reds achieve full ripeness and gives Austrian whites greater body and alcohol compared to their German counterparts.
How are the warm growing days in Austria counterbalanced to maintain acidity and freshness in the wines?
Cool winds originating in the north (Poland, Czech Republic) that cool down everything at night, which creates a big diurnal shift, especially for more northerly regions.
What are the main white grapes of Austria?
Grüner Veltliner - most planted
Welschriesling - second most planted
Besides Grüner Veltliner and Welschriesling, what two other white grape varietals are found in Burgenland?
- Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder)
Sauvignon Blanc is experiencing a burgeoning reputation in which Austrian wine region?
Steiermark in the south
What are the main red grapes of Austria?
Zweigelt - most planted black/red grape
International grape varieties that are on the rise:
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon
What are the parent grapes for Zweigelt?
Blaufränkisch x St Laurent
Fill in which red Austrian grape best matches the following descriptions:
- ___ is deeply colored with soft tannins and brambly fruits.
- ___ has high acid, medium tannins, with flavors of sour cherry and pepper.
- ___ behaves similarly to Pinot Noir.
- St Laurent
Fill in which Austrian white grape best matches the following descriptions:
- ___ displays white pepper, high acidity, and citrus/stone fruits in its youth and honey + toast flavors as it ages.
- ___ makes simple, citrusy wines with green apple flavors (and make better dessert wines).
- ___ shows ripe, peachy fruits, and are usually dry and medium- to full-bodied.
- Grüner Veltliner
What are the 4 major winemaking regions, or federal states, in Austria?
- Niederösterreich (Lower Austria)
- Wien (Vienna)
- Steiermark (Styria)
Of the four major winemaking regions in Austria, which two account for the majority of wine production?
What are the 3 quality levels for wine in Austria?
From lowest quality to highest:
- Wein (no GI)
- Landwein (PGI)
- Qualitätswein (PDO)
What geographical indication may bottles of Wein, the lowest quality level of wine in Austria, carry?
Wines labeled 'Wein' may not have a specific geographical indication.
The labels will simply state that the wine is from Austria by using the term "Österreich” or “österreichischer Wein,” an equivalent to 'Vin de France'.
What is Landwein's geographic designation?
PGI, or Protected Geographic Indication
What is Qualitätswein's geographic designation?
PDO, or Protected Designation of Origin
Where do Austrian wines have to come from to qualify for PDO status (either DAC or Qualitätswein)?
- One of the four federal states
- One of the 16 smaller areas within those states, e.g. Wachau
What are the designations under Qualitätswein?
- DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus) - dry wines
- Prädikatswein - medium-sweet to sweet wines
In Austria, the Prädikatsweine focus on medium-sweet and sweet wines.
What are the classifications of Prädikatswein?
Strohwein (aka Schilfwein)
Note that Kabinett is not under Prädikat in Austria like it is in Germany; Kabinett in Austria isn't medium-sweet or sweet, so it is not Prädikat. Don't worry about this for the exam, though!
How many DACs are there in Austria?
How does a region become a DAC?
There are 15 DACs in Austria (up from 9). See them here.
To be awarded DAC status, producers within a region have to come together and agree on:
- the style of wine they feel best represents their region (white, red, dry, sweet, etc.)
- the grape or grapes allowed in that style
Once the region has been approved DAC status, the producers have to make wines in the style and use the grapes they agreed upon.
If a winemaker veers from these parameters, they cannot use DAC on that wine and the wine will be declassified to the federal state (Niederösterreich, Burgenland, etc.)
The DAC designation of Qualitätswein focuses on what?
Dry, still white and red wines.
What is Strohwein (aka Schilfwein)?
How is it made?
Strohwein is a dried grape wine.
It's made from fully-ripened grapes which have been laid out on mats of straw (Stroh), or reeds (Schilf), to dry and concentrate the sugars.
What is Ausbruch?
Ausbruch is a Prädikat-level sweet wine classification between Beerenauslese (BA) and Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA).
Niederösterreich translates to what in English?
In terms of production and exports Niederösterreich is the ___ of the four federal states in Austria.
What are the most important subregions of Lower Austria that make quality export wines?
- Kremstal DAC
- Kamptal DAC
*Wachau is a DAC as of 2020, but it was not a DAC at time of publication of the textbook.
Which subregion of Niederösterreich has most of the top-quality vineyards?
In terms of land and aspect, what do Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal have in common?
All three have steep, terraced, south-facing hillside vineyards that maximize sun exposure.