Does it mean the soil on which the vines grow? Or is the climate also a key factor? What about the type of viticulture or vinification of the wine? There doesn't seem to be a right answer.
Austria is a cool climate country. The role of the climate is therefore quite significant, which when coupled with the soil structure in the vineyards, and a multitude of other factors, contribute to the regional terroir.
Terroir is the much-discussed term that has a wealth of interpretations. On the positive side, the wines offer regional and often vineyard specific typicity and winemakers strive to move away from one-dimensional, fabricated wines. It can, on the other hand however, have negative connotations, when terroir is used as an excuse to justify the taste and style of a particular wine.
THE PRIMARY CLIMATE ZONES
Even given the great diversity of Austria’s wines, they tend to exhibit a consistent characteristic that distinguishes them from those of other nations: an aromatic freshness, coupled with complete physiologic ripeness of the grapes. There is simply no other place on Earth where refreshing wines are so concentrated and substantial, or where the opulent wines exhibit such grace.
Steep slopes, valleys, rolling hills, terraces and specific sites of the Austrian wine regions are features that belong to the visible charm of our country’s landscapes. Hidden beneath the soils the rocks usually are not visible, but they are of great importance to the winemakers because they influence significantly the choice of grape variety and vineyard management.