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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.

Definition:choice of wood

The wood from the oak tree (in Latin Quercus) is a popular choice for the construction of vats or barrels. Small oak barrels are particularly common, and the oak can come from the famous forests of Allier, Nevers, Tronçais, Limousin and Vosges in France, to native Austrian oak, Hungarian oak along with American and Russian examples.

oak chips
Definition:oak shavings

To give the impression of an oak aged wine (see small oak barrel), the must, Sturm, mash or even the young wine are mixed with various grades of (toasted) oak chips (or oak shavings). This is a highly cost-efficient method of adding the aroma and taste of oak to a (usually cheap) wine, and has been permitted in the EU for a number of years now.

Definition:German unit scale for must weight (°Oe)

KMW equals approximately 5° Oe

Definition:qualified winemaker

In Austria, the oenology course is offered in the Viticultural School in Klosterneuburg, or at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna.

Definition:wine education and programme for wine and its vinification
Definition:fungal vine disease

Powdery mildew, a fungal vine disease.

Abbreviation:International Organisation for Vine and Wine

Organisation internationale de la vigne et du vin, based in Paris.

old vines
Definition:denotes vines that are at least 40 years old

A description on the wine label meaning the grapes have come from old vines. Wine from older vines have a lower yield, yet often better quality.

old wine
Definition:older vintage

A colloquial term referring to the 'old wine' from the previous vintage, when sold after 11 November (St Martin's Day), when the Heuriger and Buschenschank wine taverns are permitted to sell the fresh wine from the new vintage. Nowadays however, the exact date or usage of the term is taken light-heartedly.

Old World
Definition:Refers to the European winegrowing regions

The general description for European winegrowing regions, including the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa, as opposed to the New World, which denotes the wine-producing countries abroad (former colonies).


A tasting term referring to the dense, dark colour of a red wine.

open (for visitors)
Definition:the Heuriger is open for business

The colloquial term for when an Austrian Heuriger (or Buschenschank) is open to the public. Often just for a few weeks per year, this is visible by a long pole with a bush or fanned leaved attached to the end of it.

open (for visitors)
Definition:the Heuriger is open for business

The colloquial term for when an Austrian Heuriger (or Buschenschank) is open to the public. Often just for a few weeks per year, this is visible by a long pole with a bush or fanned leaved attached to the end of it.

Definition:tasting impression

Opulent and full-bodied taste, supported by the necessary alcohol content, sweetness, and extract.

Definition:tasting impression

Full-bodied, heavy and often rich wine.

Orange Wine/Orangewine
Definition:Special vinification technique

Generally speaking, the term ‘Orange wine’ is understood to mean wine made from white grapes vinified with prolonged skin contact, often resulting in an orange colour.

According to Austrian Wine Law, in the case of Landwein or wine without a more specific designation of origin other than »Österreich« (with or without indication of variety & vintage, exhibiting turbidity and an oxidative note) turbidity and an oxidative note shall not be regarded as wine defects; the wine may be marketed if it bears the supplementary designation ‘Orange Wine’ or ‘orangewine’. Read more

organic viticulture
Definition:certified organic viticulture

Environmentally conscious production

Organic viticulture focuses on the promotion of healthy, fertile soil by advocating responsible soil cultivation methods, as well as the use of plant protection products and strengtheners of natural origin. The application of herbicides and synthetic plant protection products is forbidden. State-recognised inspection bodies inspect the entire production process. Certification must be renewed every year.


organic viticulture
Definition:organic form of viticulture

Also known as organic viticulture, this is a specific form of viticulture with a focus on protecting the natural ecological system. The methods are certified and inspected in the various stages of viticulture.

organic wine
Definition:organically produced wine

Wine that is produced using organic viticultural methods. A wine that is certified as organic must be produced from 100% organically grown grapes. To ensure easy recognition for customers, all organic products in the EU, including organic wines from Austria, bear the “EU organic” seal.

organoleptic inspection
Definition:description for the Greek term relating to the senses

The organoleptic characteristics of the wine relating to the colour, aroma and taste.


Declaration of geographical origin of a wine or grapes, from which a wine is produced. The EU differentiates between wines with protected geographical indication ("Landwein" in Austria) and wine with protected designation of origin ("Qualitätswein" in Austria). In Austria, Qualitätsweine with regional typicity that display characteristics of their origin are entrenched in the DAC philosophy , see DAC.

ÖTW Erste Lage
Definition:Regional single vineyard site classification

The Austrian Association of Traditional Vintners (Österreichische Traditionsweingüter) announced the classification of their single vineyard sites in 2010. The classic single vineyards (klassifizierte Lagen) and the top single vineyards (Erste Lagen) were defined. The symbol of these wines is visible on the wine label as a name and image brand, and association members within the valley of the Danube are entitled to use it (Kamptal, Kremstal, Traisental, Wagram, Wien, Thermenregion, Carnuntum).

Definition:reaction of must and wine compounds with oxygen

Generally described as a Sherry tone or oxidation.

Definition:influence of contact with air (oxygen) towards the aromatics and taste of wine

Aromas reminiscent of apple peel or apple juice, see also fermentation and maderised.

oxidised aroma
Definition:wine fault

Describes a wine fault following the negative influence of air (oxygenation), that can occur if the barrels are not kept topped up, or if sulphur is insufficient or added too late.

oxidised maturation

The opposite of a maturation where contact with air is inhibited, here the wine is in active contact with air, resulting in an oxidised, Sherry-like character.