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.

wine knights

The European Weinritterschaft (Ordo Equestris Vini Europae), or wine knights, is a union of confederates and are committed to, for example, wine culture, the appreciation of wine, and wine knowledge, and organise a wide range of activities and events.

wine label
description on the bottle

The wine label is the producer‘s business card. The following terms must be legally visible on Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine): Producer/Bottler/Distributor, Origin (winegrowing region), Austria (or Österreich), Quality level (e.g. Qualitätswein), Federal Inspection Number, alcohol level, residual sugar classification (e.g. dry (trocken), medium dry (halbtrocken), medium sweet (lieblich), sweet (süß)), the volume of the bottle, along with the term ‘contains sulfites‘ (enthält Sulfite). Qualitätswein additionally has the highly visible red-white-red banderole on the capsule or screwcap closure.

Wine law

The Austrian Wine Law was last amended in 2009, and is incorporated into EU wine legislation. The EU wine industry body defines a number of requirements and strict quality contol assessments, that Austria as a member state, must adhere to in its production of quality wine and its supervision. The Austrian wine law is subdivided into the categories of wine, fruit wine, quality control, sanctions, support and grants, as well as provisional and final regulations. The part relevant to wine includes production guidelines, marketing, description and packaging, wording and term definitions, geographic indications, yield restrictions, the Federal Inspection Number, the banderole (quality wine control seal), and so on.

wine press
Ein Gerät zum Ausquetschen oder Auspressen von Weintrauben oder Maische.

The wine press is used for crushing or pressing the grapes or must. Nowadays, wines is pressed gently with pneumatic presses in the tube or bladder, as well as the scattered use of the hydraulic horizontal press. The Torculum or Roman presses only have historical significance. The traditional basket presses and screw presses are seldom in Austrian viticulure.

wine press
a piece of equipment used to crush or press the grapes or must

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.

wine rating

The Roman formula for tasting is known as COS (colour-odour-sapour), referring to the colour, aroma and taste of wine. Today wines are still tasted in this method. In many cases, we also find rating systems that make it easy to compare the visual quality of wines. The 20 point rating system used to be popular, yet an increasing number of magazines and wine journalists are using the 100 point system. See also degustation and tasting.

wine ratings

The Roman formula for tasting is known as COS (colour-odour-sapour), referring to the colour, aroma and taste of wine. Today wines are still tasted in this method. In many cases, we also find rating systems that make it easy to compare the visual quality of wines. The 20 point rating system used to be popular, yet an increasing number of magazines and wine journalists are using the 100 point system. See also degustation and tasting.

wine routes
infrastructure organised by local tourism or vintner associations

Idyllic wine roads, or routes for wine enthusiasts, that are found in all winegrowing regions, and specially signposted, and marked out with special symbols, guiding visitors to the wine experience. Examples are the südsteirische Weinstraße in the Südsteiermark, and the Schilcherweinstraße in the Weststeiermark.

Wine scandal

The Austrian wine industry was disrupted as a result of the widely publicised diethylene glycol wine scandal in 1985. The consequence was the introduction of the most strict wine law in the world, with an uncomprimised push into producing quality wines, effectively the Austrian "Weinwunder“, or miracle. Other countries often had instances of wine adulteration by rogue producers, whose activities led to a wine scandal. An important reaction is to invest in wine inspections.

wine sensory analysis
the sensory analysis is the term used to describe the total impression and sensory perception of a wine

In wine sensory analysis, the senses of sight, smell and taste play a central role.

wine syphon
cylindrical piece of equipment used to take a sample out of a fermenting or maturation vat

The wine syphon is usually made of glass or plastic, and the wine is siphoned or sucked out. An alternative is the pipette.

wine-making grape variety

the cultivated grape variety for wine-making, as opposed to table grapes for eating.

winegrower's Sekt
producer's sparkling wine

Nowadays a rare term for Austrian quality sparkling wine from a winegrowing region. This description may only be used when the grapes were grown by the producer, the second fermentation occurred in the bottle, and the variety and vintage is clearly visable on the label. This is a protected description for Austrian Sekt and is the same as German Sekt or sparkling wine.

winegrowers association

Regional associations of wine producers that occur in all of the winegrowing regions, and acts as a basis for organisation and officially acknowledged form of self organisation for the vintners.

winegrowing areas

Landwein (wine with geographical indication) is obliged to indicate a winegrowing area as its origin. The following areas are protected for this cause: Weinland (referring to the Federal States of Lower Austria, Burgenland and Vienna), Steirerland (the Federal State of Styria) and Bergland (Federal States of Upper Austria, Salzburg, Carinthia, Tyrol and Vorarlberg).

winegrowing regions

Austria currently has 17 specified winegrowing regions and four generic winegrowing regions. The generic regions are Niederösterreich (Lower Austria), Burgenland, Steiermark and Wien (Vienna). The 17 specified winegrowing regions are the Wachau, Kremstal, Kamptal, Wagram, Traisental, Weinviertel, Thermenregion, Carnuntum, Neusiedlersee, Leithaberg, Rosalia, Mittelburgenland, Eisenberg, Weststeiermark, Südsteiermark, Vulkanland Steiermark and (again) Vienna.

winegrowing zones

The term for the viticultural or winegrowing zones, as defined by the EU, which divide the European winegrowing regions up into zones, to regulate certain aspects of winemaking relating to their respective climates. Winegrowing zone A includes the northern winegrowing regions, zone B is the temperate climate that includes Austria and Zone C refers to the most southerly zone.

winemaker
oenologist

Specialised qualification in winemaking held by the winery director. The original Austrian words are "Weinbau- und Kellermeister“, literally viticulture and cellar master.

winery
place of vinification

Mostly subterrenean room used for the storage of wine.

winery
place of vinification

Mostly subterrenean room used for the storage of wine.

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