Bergland

Although the wine industry in Austria is concentrated in the two major winegrowing areas Weinland (the Danube area, Weinviertel and the Pannonian area) and Steirerland (the winegrowing regions in the Steiermark), we also find vineyards scattered throughout Bergland (in the federal states of Carinthia, Upper Austria , Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg). The character of these wines has been influenced substantially by the Atlantic climate and the nearby Alps.

The naturally cooler annual average air temperature reduces the possible area where vines can be planted, with protected southern slopes or specific microclimatic warmed pockets of land being particularly favourable, and these have often been regarded as a winegrowing areas in the toponymy for centuries. Nowadays, the wine industry in this area operates on a smaller scale, compared for example with the Middle Ages, even if there is still a variety of local, domestic and field names that refer to the longstanding tradition of viticulture that once thrived.

In the wake of the current global warming, viticulture is enjoying a renaissance in Bergland, particularly in the winegrowing areas of Kärnten (Carinthia). There the cooler, Alpine climate traditionally favours early-maturing varieties such as Chardonnay, Müller Thurgau, Frühroter Veltliner, Bouvier, Muskat Ottonel, Pinot Gris, Blauer Portugieser and Blauburger. Changes in the climate now enable and encourage quality wine production in warmer sites from late-ripening varieties such as Grüner Veltliner, Riesling (e.g. in a medium sweet ‘Mosel Valley’ style with residual sugar), Welschriesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Traminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt and Roesler.