Although viticulture in Austria is concentrated in the two major wine-growing areas of the Weinland (the Danube region, Weinviertel and Pannonian region) and the Steirerland (the ­wine-growing regions in Styria), there are also vineyards scattered throughout the Bergland wine-growing area (the federal states of Carinthia, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg). The character of these wines is substantially influenced by the Atlantic climate and the nearby Alps.

The naturally cooler average air temperatures mean that the areas in which vines can be planted are restricted to sheltered southern slopes and certain warmer pockets of land, which are particularly favourable due to their microclimates. The names of these places are often evidence of centuries-old viticultural practices. Nowadays, viticulture in this area operates on a much smaller scale than it used to, especially in the Middle Ages. However, the names of numerous villages, houses and plots of land still reflect the great extent of viticulture that once thrived here.

As a result of current global warming, viticulture is enjoying a renaissance in the Bergland, particularly in the Kärnten ­wine-growing region (Carinthia). The cooler, Alpine climate here traditionally favours varieties whose grapes ripen earlier, such as Chardonnay, Müller-Thurgau, Frühroter Veltliner, Bouvier, Muskat Ottonel, Pinot Gris, Blauer Portugieser and Blauburger. Climate change is now also enabling warmer vineyards to produce Qualitätswein (quality wine) using grape varieties that ripen later in the season, such as Grüner Veltliner, Riesling (e.g. with a moderate amount of residual sugar, similar to Moselle valley Rieslings), Welschriesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Muskateller, Traminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt and Roesler.


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