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.

half bottle
Definition:bottle format size

A half bottle with a capacity of 0.375 litres, very popular for high quality sweet wines.


Refers to the balanced taste, particularly when the alcohol, acidity and residual sugar are well balanced with each other.


Wine with predominantly high acidity.

Definition:picking, or collection of the (ripe) grapes

The harvest of the ripe grapes usually takes place in Austria during September and October. We differentiate between the grapes picked beginning of the vintage, the preliminary harvest, the main harvest, the late harvest as well as harvesting by hand or machine.

Definition:picking the grapes

The harvest of the ripe grapes usually takes place in Austria during September and October. We differentiate between the grapes picked beginning of the vintage, the preliminary harvest, the main harvest, the late harvest as well as harvesting by hand or machine.

Definition:slight cloudiness in the wine
hazy or cloudy wine
Definition:haze caused by the heat-unstable proteins

If the wine has a high concentration of heat-unstable proteins, or is stored in too warm an environment, protein particles fall out and the wine becomes hazy.


The description of a wine with a high, yet well integrated alcohol level, but is not sharp or brandy-like.

health and wine

Health and wine is quite a controversial topic. In the Ancient world and during the Middle Ages, wine was a highly regarded medicine or healing potion, and event the latest studies confirm that if a healthy person consumes a moderate measure of wine, it can be benefitial to their health and well-being. The content matter responsible for these effects are resveratrol and the polyphenols (vitamin 'P'). Scientists agree that the regular consumption of red wine can reduce cardiovascular disease.

heating the must

The wine-making operation of the gentle and gradual heating of the must to kick-off fermentation, and especially when some yeast strains only become active at a certain temperature.


Describes a wine with high alcohol and extract.

Definition:metric unit of measurement

Metric measurement, where 10,000 square metres equates to 100 Ar or "are". The suffice -are is applied to hect-are, i.e. hectare. There is no direct equivalent in imperial measurement.

Definition:metric unit of measurement

1 hectolitre is 100 litres


Undesired, often pungent aroma, that is reminiscent of cooked vegetables (e.g. cabbage).


The traditional German description for a Buschenschank or Heuriger wine tavern..

high vine training system
Definition:type of vine trellis or training system

The high culture vine wire training system was developed by Lenz Moser in the 1930s, to facilitate the use of machinery in the vineyards.

Definition:belongs to the biogenic amines

Belongs to the biogenic amines, and often responsible for sudden headaches. Histamines are found in a large number of foodstuffs, yet Austrian wine and Sekt are generally low in histamines.

histamine-free, low in histamines

According to Austrian Wine Law, descriptions such as ‘low in histamines’ or ‘histamine-free’ are not permitted for products of viticulture.


Describes a thin, light-bodied and one-dimensional wine.

Holy Saint Urban

Urban I was Pope in the 3rd Century, and is often  portrayed with wine grapes. In Austria, he is regarded as patron of the vintners, wine merchants and coopers. St Urban's day is 25 May, and is the most important festive day after the "cold weather" Patron Saints.

Definition:name of a single-vineyard

An old term for a Smaragd quality category of wine in the Wachau, that was only ever used once.

horizontal press
Definition:machine used to press grapes

A piece of machinery used in the wine-making operation of crushing or pressing the grapes or mash. Nowadays the gentle pneumatic presses are more widespread than, for example, the bladder presses. There is a small number of hydraulic horizontal presses in Austria, and the Torculum or Roman presses only have historical significance. The traditional basket presses and screw presses are seldom in Austrian viticulure.

Definition:crossing of two inter-specific hybrid vine varieties

The result of crossing two inter-specific hybrid vine varieties, usually between native American and European (Vitis vinifera) vine varieties. The robust hybrids are also known as inter-specific crossings.

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
Definition:wine fault

Not an uncommon wine fault, when the wine has a foul, pungent smell. We differenciate between the hydrogen sulfide (foul eggs), mercaptans (onion, garlic), yeasty and aromatic faults.

hydrometer for must

The hydrometer is used to confirm the must weight (sugar content of the must). 1° KMW is equivalent to 10 gram or sugar per kilogram of must. The Klosterneuburg Must Scale was invented by Baron August Wilhelm von Babo, founder of the viticultural school in Klosterneuburg. Nowadays, a refractometer is commonly used to measure the must weight.



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