The language of wine contains a wealth of meanings that are not all too familiar, particularly the technical interpretations. The glossary describes and offers an explanation to the most common terms.

Districtus Austriae Controllatus, regionally typical designation

DAC stands for ”Districtus Austriae Controllatus”. It literally means “protected Austrian declaration of origin”- The DAC is a designation for regionally typical Austrian quality wines, where the region itself, rather than the variety, is more significant. There are currently 16 DAC-designated regions acknowledged by the Ministry of Agriculture. The Weinviertel started off run of DAC-regions in 2003 with its regionally typical Grüner Veltliner. It has been followed by Mittelburgenland DAC (Blaufränkisch), Traisental DAC (Grüner Veltliner and Riesling), Kremstal DAC (Grüner Veltliner and Riesling), Kamptal DAC (Grüner Veltliner and Riesling), Leithaberg DAC (white and red), as well as Eisenberg DAC (Blaufränkisch), Neusiedlersee DAC (Zweigelt) and Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC, Rosalia DAC (Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt) as well as Vulkanland Steiermark DAC, Südsteiermark DAC and Weststeiermark DAC (Welschriesling, Pinot Blanc, Morillon, Grauburgunder, Riesling, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer as well as cuvées from them, Blauer Wildbacher (as Schilcher) only in Weststeiermark) as well as Carnuntum DAC (ChardonnayWeißburgunderGrüner Veltliner, Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch) as well as Wachau DAC (Grüner VeltlinerRiesling) and Ruster Ausbruch DAC

    correcting or reducing the level of acidity

    In the case of unripe grapes, the must can contain searing acidity levels that will affect the balance of the wine. The process of deacidification is possible using either one the following methods; simple deacidification with calcium carbonate (chalk), double salt deacidification, fine deacidification (for tartrate crystals) as well as the malolactic fermentation.


    wine is decanted into a carafe

    decanting basket

    To ease the process of decanting, or to avoid touching the bottle, a decanting basket is often used.

    declaration of origin

    Declaration of geographical origin of a wine or grapes, from which a wine is produced. The EU differentiates between wines without geographical indication (Wein), wines with Protected Geographical Indication (Landwein) and wine with Protected Designation of Origin (Qualitätswein). In Austria, wines with PDO that display characteristics of their origin, are entrenched in the DAC philosophy, see DAC.


    A sensory term for a complex wine with persistence in aroma and taste.

    deep colour (of white wine)
    intensive colour

    Tasting description for the colour of white wine, and refers to very mature or old wine, or wines that are susceptible to oxidation. Old wines can also have this colour as a result of too little sulphur.

    removal of the lees

    Sparkling wine-making operation used to remove the lees in the traditional method.

    wine tasting

    The qualified analysis and evaluation of the wine based on the sensoric observation, and judging the eye, nose and mouth of a wine, and often giving a score or tastng note.


    A wine that displays soft and delicate aromas is often described as so.


    A sensory term for a complex wine with persistence in aroma and taste.

    dessert wine
    wine with praedicate

    A designated wine category in Austrian wine law. The grapes must fulfil strict requirement and are classified according to their must weight. Spätlese has for example a minimum must weight of 19° KMW, Auslese (21° KMW), Strohwein (grapes dried on straw mats) Eiswein (ice wine) and Beerenauslese all require 25° KMW. The Ausbruch and Trockenbeerenauslese require at least 30° KMW. The residual sugar of these wines may only derive from the fermentation time, either by deliberatley arresting fermentation or through its natural end, and by no means may the wine be sweetened by Süssreserve (grape must).


    The destemming is the removal of the grapes from their stems or stalks prior to pressing.

    grapes that have been separated from the stems or stalks

    The term refers to grapes that have been separated from the stems or stalks.

    piece of equipment used to remove the grape from its stem

    often combined with a crusher

    removing the grape berry from the stalk or stem

    destemming is the removal of the stems or stalks prior to pressing


    Destemming is the removal of the stems or stalks prior to pressing or crushing.


    A wine tasting term that refers to a mature wine that is developed, or at its best.

    developed aromas

    The tasting term for (over) developed aromas in a maturing wine. See also petrol, tired, and tertiary aromas.


    This term refers to the maturation process of the wine, from the winery as well as its continued development in the bottle.

    a drink after a meal

    An alcoholic berverage that is served after a meal, to aid digestion. Usually a spirit is taken as a digestive.

    Greek god

    The Greek god of wine and viticulture (synonymous with the Roman god Bacchus).


    Describes a wine with a touch of an untypical, mouldy off-tone, and a term often used to describe a wine that has subtle, disguised cork taint.

    2 litre bottle

    Once the most common bottle size for an Austrian wine, the 2 litre bottle was often coined the “Austro-Magnum".

    sparkling wine-making term

    This is a term from sparkling wine production, and refers to the dosage of wine that will define the residual sugar of the sparkling wine following degorging. In the traditional method, we decide between the liqueur de tirage (a fine cane or sugar beet and yeast mixture to instigate the second fermentation) and the liqueur d'expedition (the liquid sugar dosage added post fermentation to give the wine its character and balance), that is often the producer's secret recipe.

    double magnum
    size of a bottle

    A wine bottle with a capacity of 3 litres, also known as a Jeroboam for Sparkling wines and Champagne.

    method of loosening the soil in the vineyard
    downy mildew
    fungal disease

    Also known as peronospora.


    This term comes from the French meaning the dregs, or the deposit that develops in the bottle of most red wine with age. It comprises of yeast particles and colour extract.


    This term comes from the French meaning the dregs, or the deposit that develops in the bottle of most red wine with age. It comprises of yeast particles and colour extract.

    drinking temperature

    Temperature plays a central role in the vinification (temperature of the fermentation), in the storage of wine (wine cellar temperature) and particularly in the restaurants. The pleasure of enjoying a wine is defined by the serving temperature and correct drinking temperature of the wine.

    drip irrigation
    artificial form of watering
    dry (taste)

    A term for sparkling wines that have a residual sugar between 17 and 35 grams per litre.

    dry extract

    Dry extract is a term frequently consulted as a parameter for judging the quality of wine (as sugar-free extract), and is the total sum of all extracts, less the residual, or unfermented sugar.

    dry stone terraces
    hand-crafted vineyard terraces, that are supported by dry-stone walls

    particular to the viticulture in the Wachau, see terraces.

    dry yeast

    To reduce the risk of wine faults caused by yeasts, selected yeast strains, also known as cultured yeasts in a dried powder form, are frequently used to guarantee a speedy and clean fermentation.

    dry, bitter taste

    Mouth-clenching taste of dryness and with high phenolics and tannins (particularly red wines), and very dry with marked acidity (in white wines).


    Describes a wine lacking brightness and freshness.


    Double meaning, and on the one hand, it refers to a dull-coloured wine without reflections; and on the other hand, describes a wine with gravely insufficient acidity or a wine with excessive sulphur (very tannic, dull and uninspiring tone, perceived most on the teeth).


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