Position paper of the Austrian Wine Industry

Wine in Society

A picture shows a vineyard
© AWMB

Wine from Austria is a 1,000 year old cultural asset, and takes on a central theme with the ongoing discussions related to the consumption of alcohol. Wine is an agricultural product, with natural, annual variations and plays an important role in the preservation and heritage of the landscape.

 

Wine is a beverage that, particularly in Europe, goes hand in hand with a culinary tradition, and forms an integral part of society, yet its sociopolitical significance is being an alcoholic drink. This may lead to excessive consumption and alcohol abuse.

The Austrian wine industry condemns all forms of alcohol abuse and the direct and indirect negative effects it can have on society, particularly with youths and children. Adults need to drink responsibly and act as an example to younger generations. Moreover, the Austrian wine industry emphasizes that the moderate consumption of wine can have a positive effect on personal health and has been proven to benefit the economy. 

The Austrian Wine Industry…

  • does not wish to trivialise alcohol related discussions and speaks clearly and directly about each and every form of alcohol abuse.
  • strives for a conscious and reflected approach to the consumption of wine.

Excessive consumption of alcoholic shall neither be encouraged by heavily discounted prices (flat rates, buy one get one free, Happy Hour promotions) nor via corresponding campaigns. The 'blind eye' mentality of the past is being consistently replaced by a responsible, yet by all means enjoyable, consumption of wine.

  • emphasizes the necessity of adult role models to protect youths.

  A responsible and supervised introduction to wine consumption for youths to reduce the risk of alcohol abuse, and youths can learn a responsible approach to wine, by listening to the appropriate explanations from adults regarding wine consumption (e.g. why, what, when to drink, as well as the justification of certain rituals). The effects of using role models to moderate the consumption of alcohol can also be applied to the work place and road safety in combination with operating vehicles.

  • offers an infrastructure and facilities to aid wine education.

The mission of the Austrian Wine Academy is to teach how to handle wine with responsibility, as well as to appreciate its cultural wealth. Specific courses and modules in schools as well as the  youth orientated 'Jungsommelier' course, the first step to becoming a sommelier. A wide range of seminars and discussions at congresses in particular, convey the effects of a moderate consumption of wine.

  • acknowledges the positive benefits of the moderate consumption of wine.

Numerous scientific studies have proven the positive effects of moderate wine consumption. To help keep consumption moderate, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued so called health hazard limits: These are 0.75 liters per day for a  man, and 0.50 liters per day for a woman. To consume these quantities on a daily basis increases the risk of secondary physical disease.

  •  accentuates the taste sensation with wine and food.

Wine is a central component of the Austrian food and drinking culture, and compliment each other quite harmoniously. The enjoyment of a meal can be punctuated by the combination of the right wines paired with a meal.

  • adheres to the notion of appreciating wine.

Wine is a cultural asset; an appreciating and individual way of life. Therefore the wine industry reserves the right to decline the imposing of restrictions or prohibitive actions (for example in advertising, that historically have not had the desired effect), and its representatives are committed to the hedonistic nature of controlled wine enjoyment.

  • acknowledges responsible wine advertising and campaigns.

The advertising of Austrian wine categorically excludes all forms of communication, description and messages, where youths and children might be tempted by alcoholic beverages.

  • appreciates the significance of wine as a cultural asset for tourism.

Wine is an integral part of the cultural landscape, that coupled with regional cuisine, is of substantial financial value for the regional and national economy.