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unbekannter Gast

Weinbau#

Wine Growing: Wine was already grown on Austrian territory by the Celts and the Illyrians, even though in a much less sophisticated form than today. The oldest evidence comes from Zagersdorf (Burgenland) and is thought to date from 750 B.C. Organised wine growing reached its first peak under the Romans; the "Soldier Emperor" Probus lifted the ban on wine growing in areas north of the Alps in 280 A.D., which had been imposed by Emperor Domitian. Vineyards emerged along the River Danube, in the surrounding areas of the settlements of Carnuntum, Vindobona, Aquae (Baden), Augustiana (Traismauer) and Favianis (Mautern) as well as around Lake Neusiedl, in Eisenberg (southern Burgenland) and in Styria. Wine growing in Austria was first mentioned in the Vita Severini. In the Middle Ages knowledge of viticulture, cellaring and the most favourable sites for vines lay in the hands of monasteries and other church institutions. At the same time more and more representatives of the nobility as well as some of the bourgeoisie became owners of vineyards. Due to a lack of labour, the church and nobility had to have parts of their vineyards cultivated by peasants in a system of share rent (usually one half or one third). Because of the considerable increase in the volume of production in the 14th century bans were imposed on imports and sale of non-domestic wine. Vienna became the centre of wine growing and trade in the Danube region. Wine growing was most extensive in Austria in the 16th century; there were also vineyards in Upper Austria, Carinthia, Tirol, Salzburg and Vorarlberg. Austrian wine was exported to Bohemia, Moravia, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, Bavaria, Prussia and Silesia. After the Thirty Years´ War wine growing was run down and it was not until the Baroque period that it saw a new upswing. At the beginning of the 19th century care of the vine was given more attention, and it was only serious cold damage (climatic changes) and the accidental importation of fungal diseases from America, such as oidium (powdery mildew) and peronospora (downy mildew), that led to another reduction of wine growing areas. The Austrian wine growing industry was even more severely affected by the spread of Phylloxera which began in 1872. Old cultures were destroyed within a few years and it took decades to fully introduce grafted and more resistant grape varieties. At the same time wine growing schools, associations and self-help organisations (wine growers´ cooperatives) were founded. In the 20th century wine growing in Austria has seen stronger intervention by the legislative authorities in the fields of wine production and classification. Over the last decades cultivation techniques have been improved (change from stake training to the high training system) and structures re-organised (decreasing number of companies, increasing size of companies). Following the wine scandal (1985), the Austrian wine marketing service company (Weinmarketingservice-GmbH) was founded in 1987 by the state and the wine growing provinces.


Wine was grown in Austria on a total area of 50,875 hectares in 1999, with areas in Lower Austria accounting for 30,594 hectares, in Burgenland for 15,949 hectares, in Styria for 3,584 hectares and in Vienna for 731 hectares (in other provinces for 17 hectares). The average harvest volume amounts to 2.6 million hectolitres (1998: 2.7 million hectolitres; 1997: 1.8 million hectolitres). In 1998 21.15 million hectolitres of wine were exported, compared to 57.17 million hectolitres of imports. 16 Austrian wine growing areas were officially established on the basis of the Wine Act Amendment 1993. Lower Austria: Wachau Valley, Kremstal valley, Kamptal valley, Donauland, Traisental valley, Carnuntum, Weinviertel Region, Thermenregion; Burgenland: Lake Neusiedl (Neusiedler See), Neusiedler-See-Huegelland, Mittel-Burgenland (central Burgenland), Sued-Burgenland (southern Burgenland); Styria: Sued-Steiermark (southern Styria), Suedost-Steiermark (south-east Styria), West-Steiermark (western Styria); Wien (Vienna). The 16 wine growing areas are organised into various wine growing regions: Weinland Oesterreich (comprising Lower Austria and Burgenland), Styria, Vienna and Bergland Oesterreich, which covers the small-scale wine growing activity of the other 5 Austrian provinces There are approx. 30 authorised quality grape varieties in Austria, the most important of which are Gruene Veltliner (36.7 %, mostly in Lower Austria, Burgenland and Vienna), followed by Welschriesling (9 %, in Burgenland, Styria and in the eastern Weinviertel), Mueller-Thurgau (also known as Rivaner, 7.8 %), white Burgundy, Riesling, Neuburger, Muskat-Ottonel, Chardonnay and Traminer, as well as Zierfandler (or Spaetrot) and Rotgipfler (also blended as Spaetrot-Rotgipfler). Around 24.5 % of the vineyards are planted with red grapes: Blauer Zweigelt (7.9 %, in all wine growing areas), Blaufraenkisch (5.4 %, esp. in central Burgenland), Blauer Portugieser (5.2 %), Blauburgunder, St. Laurent and Blauer Wildbacher (Schilcher, speciality of western Styria).


The most important wine growing villages and towns are: in Lower Austria: Baden, Duernstein, Falkenstein, Goettlesbrunn, Grossriedenthal, Gumpoldskirchen, Haugsdorf, Hoeflein, Kirchberg am Wagram, Klosterneuburg, Krems an der Donau, Langenlois, Loiben, Mailberg, Mannersdorf an der March, Matzen, Poysdorf, Prellenkirchen, Retz, Rohrendorf, Roeschitz, Schoenberg am Kamp, Sooss, Spitz, Strass im Strassertal, Tattendorf, Traiskirchen, Traismauer, Weissenkirchen and Wolkersdorf; in Burgenland: Deutschkreutz, Deutsch-Schuetzen, Donnerskirchen, Eisenstadt, Gols, Grosshoeflein, Horitschon, Illmitz, Moerbisch, Neckenmarkt, Oggau, Podersdorf and Rust; in Styria: Deutschlandsberg, Ehrenhausen, Eibiswald, Gamlitz, Kapfenstein, Kitzeck, Kloech, Leibnitz, Leutschach, Sankt Stefan ob Stainz and Wies; in Vienna: Grinzing, Heiligenstadt, Mauer, Neustift, Nussdorf, Oberlaa, Sievering, Stammersdorf and Strebersdorf.


Wine growing schools: Federal advanced-level school and federal office of wine and fruit growing with Institute of Apiarism in Klosterneuburg (founded in 1860, oldest wine growing school in the world), agricultural vocational schools in Gumpoldskirchen, Hollabrunn, Krems an der Donau, Mistelbach (all situated in Lower Austria), Eisenstadt (Burgenland) and Silberberg (Styria).

Literature#

R. Sedlaczek (ed.) and W. Kutscher, Unser Wein, 1994; 1000 Weine, beschrieben und bewertet von W. Kutscher, 1995; R. Steurer and V. Siegl, Oesterreichischer Weinfuehrer, 1996.