A total vineyard area of 46,000 ha brought a total of 2.6 Mio. hl wine in the 2002 vintage. This result is 10% above the yearly average.
A mild, dry winter was followed by an amiable and equally dry spring. Flowering at the end of May was unproblematic and resulted in good fruit set. Continued warm weather throughout the summer, interspersed with thundershowers brought a lead in fruit maturity that appeared to rival that of the hot 2000 vintage. Certain parts of the wine areas Wachau, Kamptal, and Kremstal suffered disastrous damage from the tremendous precipitation volume during the second and third week of August and the threat of rot required urgent attention from vintners in vineyards all over Austria. Some wet, variable weather continued in autumn but precipitation was distributed among the wine areas unevenly with Central and South Burgenland profiting from dryer, warmer harvest weather. Considering all the pranks of the weather, the wine quality shows quite encouraging results which can be attributed only to the pedantic work in the vineyards.
White, red and sweet wines
All in all, for white wines this vintage has a character in between 1999 and 2001 with good prospects for medium-term ageing. In the regions Weinviertel and Thermenregion the results were particularly good, and here the assessment “excellent” seems fully justified.
An early appearance of botrytis also led to a considerable quantity of sweet wines, whose character and quality appear promising for long-term aging. The reds all show good colour and fruit, carried by soft tannins.