Wine with protected designation of origin
(German g.U.: English PDO=Protected Designation of Origin, French AOP=Appellation d'Origine Protégée, Italian Denominazione di Origine Protetta). Protected designation of origin and protected geographical indication are established and confirmed by the member countries and reported to Brussels. They are, therefore, guaranteed also by EU law.
In the Austrian wine law, the traditional designation of “Qualitätswein” has replaced the community law designation of “Wine with protected designation of origin”. Quality wine must be produced from any single variety or blend of the 35 permitted grape varieties for Austrian Qualitätswein, and must come from thr 25 wine-growing regions. In the wine marketing, we differentiate between generic wine-growing areas (each of the 9 federal states) and 16 specific wine-growing regions, from the Wachau to Weststeiermark, of which 9 are DAC areas. DAC wines are quality wines that display regional typicity and place of origin, and have been legally defined by ministerial regulation. The names of the wine-growing regions are defined by EU legislation as; Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), defined in the German language as "geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnungen (g.U.). Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine) is given a unique state control number (for each wine submitted). This confirms that the wine submitted has undergone a chemical and sensoric analysis in a federal bureau of oenology. In Austria, bottled quality wines also have the red-white-red (to symbolise the national flag) banderole seal, imprinted with the winery registration number, on either the capsule of screwcap closure.
Qualitätswein - Quality wine with regional character (DAC)
Since the year 1999, Austria has been working on the profile of the specific wine regions along the lines of the Roman wine law (France, Italy, Spain). This means that specific wine-growing areas lay a focus on the marketing of one or a several styles of wines, that are typical for the region. However, this does not mean that the diversity of varieties and wine styles are neglected. The new strategy indicates only that the territorial representative wines are marked under the name of the specific area, wines that are produced from other grape varieties and styles, are marketed under the name of the generic area (federal state). Thus, the consumer has a better idea of the type of wine that awaits him/her under the name of the specific wine region. It also prevents the interchangeability of grape varieties by branding wines with the vineyard names.
The development of these rules is the responsibility of local representative bodies (Regional Wine Committee), who represent the wineries, wine trade, cooperatives and sparkling wine production according to their significance for the area. The coordination and technical control of this wine-growing political development is regulated by the joint composition National Wine Board, in which even the member experts of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Austrian Wine Marketing Board have an advisory role. Place of origin and typical quality wines on a proposal of the National Committee are legally established by the Agriculture Minister by regulation. The wine label contains the term 'Districtus Austria Controllatus' (abbreviated to 'DAC'), and is placed next to the wine region name. A dual strategy is in place for non-typical focus wines (DAC) on the specific level and for the preservation of diversity. There is of course room for the necessary capacity for innovation on the generic level. Austria has managed to square the circle by employing the benefits of both the Roman and Germanic systems.
Prädikatswein (wines with predicate)
In Austria, the wines with predicate are also quality wines. They are quality wines of a special ripeness and harvest method. Also, they can be designated as generic (e.g. Burgenland) or with a specific origin (e.g. Südoststeiermark) as long as the specific region does not have a DAC designation for other wine styles. It is even imaginable that, for a suitable region, a DAC especially for Prädikat wines could be created. The system for Prädikatswein - i.e. to distinguish wines with a higher, natural residual sugar level and different harvest and maturation techniques - is specific to Austrian and German wine law. The declaration of predicate wine based on the quality of the grapes harvested has to, in addition to meeting the following criteria, be confirmed in the presence of a federal wine inspector (Mostwäger). The document is known as the Mostwägerbestätigung. Chaptalisation of the grape must is prohibited and the residual sugar may only come from the premature arrest of the fermentating must (but not by the addition of grape must to the wine).
Austrian Sekt P.D.O.
All informations regarding Austrian Sekt with Protected Designation of Origin you can find here.