Viticulture in Styria
There is evidence of viticulture in this region since about 400 B.C. The Weinhauer, as the winegrowers are also called here, mainly operate small to very small plots on often very steep slopes and produce predominantly white wine.
Wine connoisseurs, for whom Styria is still new territory, will find an excellent introduction to the variety of Styrian wines on site. One is the Gesamtsteirische Vinothek in St. Anna am Aigen, which is open annually from mid-May to mid-November and offers more than 200 wines for tasting and purchase.
Another possibility is to visit the eight wine routes with their many producers. Here, guests will find not only fine wines, but also numerous other culinary delights, for example in the traditional, cosy Buschenschanken. The eight routes are called:
Geography and climate
More than half of the areas under cultivation for Styrian wine have a slope of more than 26 percent, which is why people often speak of Styrian mountain viticulture. The maximum sunshine duration is in high summer and early autumn. This means that hilltops and higher slopes are particularly preferred. They are also characterized by a low frost risk.
A total of three regional cultivation areas are distinguished:
Western Styria (546 ha)
Southern Styria (2,563 ha)
Volcanic country Styria (1,524 ha)
Soils and climate
The soils in Styria offer very different conditions. In southern Styria, sand, slate, marl and limestone predominate. However, a characteristic is the Sausal, which belongs to southern Styria, but due to the slate soils it provides completely different geological conditions and produces different styles of wine. Combined with the warm, humid climate with a Mediterranean touch and cool nights, Southern Styria produces crisp, fresh wines that are known far beyond its borders.
The name Volcano Land already says a lot about the soil conditions. Tuff, a coarse-pored rock that is thrown high into the air during a volcanic eruption, and basalt, which consists of hard, cold magma, predominate here. In addition, limestone and shell limestone are also found here. Thus the vines find here a mineral-rich soil, which decisively influences the taste of the wines.
Western Styria is characterized by soils of gneiss, primary rock and limestone. The climate is more alpine. Cold down winds from the mountains provide a nightly cooling in the summer, which is especially good for the Blauer Wildbacher. From this vine the famous Schilcher is pressed, a rosé with clear aromas and lively acidity.
Classification of Styria Wines
Since 2018 there is a new system of origin for Styrian wine called DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus). In addition to the origin and the emphasis on the vineyard and local wines, the DAC classification also emphasizes the winemaker's craft, because DAC wines may only be harvested by hand to distinguish them from industrial mass production. They differ in:
Vineyard wines (best individual sites)
Regional wines (DAC South Styria), DAC Volcano Land Styria, DAC West Styria)
With the new designation, the brand "Steirische Klassik" as a classification feature, which for around 25 years stood for fresh and lively wines with a strong, regionally typical character, is no longer applicable. All former STK wineries now classify their wines in the new DAC categories.
Grape varieties in Styria
Nine traditional grape varieties are approved for the DAC classification:
Other red grape varieties are:
Most of the red wines come from the volcanic country DAC. However, the white wines of Styria are internationally renowned. White wines account for about 77% of the cultivated area, red wines for 12% and Schilcher for 11%. Altogether 26 white as well as 14 red grape varieties are currently permitted - more than in any other wine-growing region in Europe - which are marketed as quality wine, quality wine of special maturity and vintage or country wine.
The modern star among the white wines in Styria is without doubt the Sauvignon Blanc. Although it has been cultivated for more than 200 years, for a long time it has not been cultivated as a single variety. Only for about two decades now have numerous winegrowers devoted themselves intensively to the grape and repeatedly achieved the highest ratings and top positions in international competitions and tastings.
Winery Wohlmuth with VINELLO
A famous winery, which we would like to present here briefly, is the business of Gerhard Wohlmuth and the junior of the same name. Family-owned for over 200 years, excellent white and red wines are produced here in Southern Styria on steep slopes at the sometimes remarkable altitude of 600 meters above sea level. Wohlmuth produces above all aromatic Sauvignon Blancs and complex red wines from the Blaufränkisch (Lemberger) grape variety that are aged exclusively in wooden barrels.
Wine growing region Styria
Styria is the smallest wine-growing region in Austria, but in recent years it has made a name for itself in the international wine world, especially with the white wines produced here. High quality grape varieties, diverse soil structures and above all the manual work of the winegrowers enter into a unique symbiosis here, which produces equally unique results.
Order Styria wines online at VINELLO
Did you feel like putting together your own exploratory tour through Styria? Just browse through our product range - VINELLO has many wonderful classics and exciting new discoveries in its program. Discover the variety of wines and benefit from our sommelier advice. Secure purchasing and guaranteed prompt delivery ensure that your journey of enjoyment can begin quickly and leads you directly to the pleasure of wine