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
- St Laurent
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
In Austria, what are the 4 most important generic wine regions?
- Niederösterreich (Lower Austria)
- Wien (Vienna)
- Steiermark (Styria)
Of the four generic winemaking regions in Austria, which two account for the majority of wine production?
Wines from the 4 Austrian generic wine regions can make wine from how many permitted grape varieties and in what styles?
- 40 permitted grape varieties;
- Any style.
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
Austrian Qualitätswein can come from either a ________ region or a ________ region.
Either a generic region or a specified region
What are the designations under Qualitätswein?
- DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus)
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!
In Austria, how many smaller wine regions have elected to become DAC?
Which Austrian DACs should you be familiar with for the exam?
How does a region become a DAC?
- Kamptal DAC (Grüner + Riesling)
- Kremstal DAC (Grüner + Riesling)
- Wachau DAC (Grüner + Riesling)
- Weinviertel DAC (Grüner)
- Neusiedlersee DAC (Zweigelt)
- Ruster Ausbruch DAC (regional white grapes)
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.
Note: while the DAC system focuses on dry, still wines, there are new DACs that are for rosé wines (Rosalia DAC) and sweet wine (Ruster Ausbruch DAC).
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?
- Wachau DAC
- Kremstal DAC
- Kamptal DAC
Which subregion of Niederösterreich is the most distinguished?
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.
How is it that the Grüners and Rieslings from Wachau, Kamptal, and Kremstal can achieve full ripeness and highly concentrated flavors when they’re at such a northerly latitude?
- Vineyards are planted facing south, towards their respective rivers, maximizing sun exposure;
- The rivers reflect sunlight and warmth into the vineyards which helps to ripen the grapes.
Which wine-growing area in Austria is largest in terms of size?
What was Austria’s first DAC, and what is the only grape allowed under that DAC?
Weinviertel DAC, in 2003 starting with the 2002 vintage.
Grüner Veltliner is the only grape allowed to be labelled with Weinviertel DAC (Rieslings, or any other grapes besides Grüner Veltliner, from Weinviertel cannot carry DAC on the label because Grüner Veltliner is the sole grape allowed under the Weinviertel DAC).
What are the two levels to Weinviertel DAC?
What are the characteristics of Klassik wine in Austria?
What are the characteristics of Reserve wine in Austria?
Klassik wines must be made in a light, fresh style with no perceptible oak flavors.
Reserve wines must have higher alcohol than Klassik, are usually fuller bodied, and allowed to have perceptible (new) oak flavors.
What is the eastern region of Austria that borders Hungary?
What styles of wine is Burgenland best known for?
Burgenland is best known for sweet wines and dry reds, but it does make some still, dry whites.
What are the principal red and white grapes grown in Burgenland?
- St Laurent
- Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Blanc
- Grüner Veltliner
What is Burgenland’s most planted red variety?
Burgenland is warmed by winds coming from the _______.
Review card #4 in this deck for further explanation on these warming winds.
In Austria, how many DACs exist for Zweigelt?
How many exist for Blaufränkisch?
- 2 DACs for Zweigelt;
- 4 DACs for Blaufränkisch.
What is the principal red grape in Mittelburgenland DAC?
Neusiedlersee DAC is best known for red wines made from this grape.
Autumn fog and high humidity around this lake in northern Burgenland allows for ideal botrytis conditions to make sweet wine.
What grape is commonly used for these sweet, botrytized wines?
Can an Austrian Prädikatswein be labeled with a specific region where a DAC already exists for another style of wine?
If not, how must the wines be labeled?
No; the wine must take the relevant generic region.