The origin of a wine is probably the most fundamental quality factor. The term 'terroir' has become a much discussed slogan in recent years, and opinions differ on the question of “what is terroir?”.
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.
AUSTRIA'S MAIN CLIMATE ZONES
Although Austria’s wines offer great variety, they do tend to exhibit an overarching characteristic that distinguishes them from wines produced elsewhere. Austrian wine displays an aromatic freshness – even when the grapes have reached full physiological ripeness. There is simply nowhere else in the world that produces refreshing wines with such a concentrated flavour, or dense wines with such a light-footed character.
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.