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The typical freshness of Austrian wines reaches its culmination in the beautiful hilly countryside in the south of Styria: the wine-growing region Steiermark. Nowhere else in the world are wines produced with such light-footed precision, aromatic brilliance and a robust piquant character – evidence of the contrast between warm days and cool nights in this region.

The southern Illyrian climate brings warmth during the daytime, whereas the cold nights result from the cooling effect of the steep hillsides. Around two thirds of the area under vine in Steiermark is located in the “Bergwein” (mountain wine) zone. Welschriesling is the variety that links the area between Hartberg in the east and Deutschlandsberg in the west. Here, this variety is known for its refreshing apple aromas and hint of spiciness. This nose is typically Styrian, and with dry Gelber Muskateller wines, it evolves into a distinctive grapey expression. It is a little-known fact that these aromas often remain unchanged over many years.

Traminer wines are also a true insider’s tip in Steiermark – especially those that originate from the volcanic terroir around Klöch. Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay (known here as Morillon), as well as the slightly more robust Pinot Gris, are included in Steiermark’s varietal spectrum. Wine producers in Steiermark have also been heavily focusing on Sauvignon Blanc in recent years. This variety is able to develop a special dimension and style, especially when grown in calcareous vineyards that embrace the steep slopes of Südsteiermark. Finally, the impressive family of Steiermark wines also includes Schilcher, which is made from Blauer Wildbacher grapes. This zesty rosé from the Weststeiermark is a terroir wine par excellence thanks to its lovingly cultivated, unique character.

A picture shows the landscape of Steiermark
© Austrian Wine / Anna Stöcher