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.


Jean-Antoine Claude Chaptal, the French chemist and Home Secretary in Napoleons government, discovered the method of increasing the alcohol level of a wine by the addition of dried sugar (from sugar beet) to the must. Chaptalization is named after him.


The character or style of a wine, the dependant factors being variety, vineyard, climate and vinification.

known also as Morillon

This globe trotting variety is matured either in the classic style in stainless steel or in the more international style with malolactic fermentation and barrel maturation. With classic Chardonnay, the pip fruit tends to dominate, over elegant and herbaceous flavours. When aged in oak barrels, the fruit characters are enhanced with creamy and buttery notes. Chardonnay is also ideal for the production of nobly sweet wines. The variety is cultivated in all Austrian winegrowing regions and is also known as the Morillon in the Steiermark.

Charmat method
method of producing sparkling wines

See also Methode Charmat. In this sparkling wine-making operation, the second fermentation occurs in a pressure tank, and is also known as the tank method.

ailing condition of the vine

Chlorosis is a vine illness or condition, that leads to the yellowing of the leaves as the production of chlorophyl is inhibited. Causes are often insufficient levels of iron on lime-rich soils or poor drainage.

church windows, (tears, legs)
the common wine tasting term describing the viscosity of a wine

The common wine tasting term describing the wine's viscosity, as these "church windows" run slowly down the inside surface of the glass. This is caused by the contents of the wine, such as glycerine, extract and sugar. The more pronounced the legs, the higher the concentration and extract of the wine.

Circle of Ruster Ausbruch producers
wine producers association for the heritage of Ruster Ausbruch

An association of producers for the production, quality, protection and heritage of Ausbruch sweet wines in the town of Rust.

citric acid

One of the most important acids, that only occurs in small quantities in the grapes or wine. If a wine should lack natural acidity, the EU permits the addition of citric acid in the climate zones B and C.

Supplementary indication for Qualtätswein

Concerning wine, the terms ‘Klassik’ or ‘Classic’ are only permitted for vintage wines with the best characteristics expressing their varietal character and origin (excluding Prädikatswein). In the case of wines with the designation ‘Weststeiermark DAC’, terms such as ‘Klassik’ or ‘Classic’ are only permitted for wines of the Gebietswein (regional wine) category bearing the traditional name »Schilcher«.

classic grape varieties

The Austrian classic grape varieties are Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Weissburgunder, Blauer Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and so on.

classification or system of designation for the origin with hierachical structure

EU wine legislation classifies the following categories, wine without geographical indication (Wein), wine with Protected Geographical Indication (Landwein) as well as wine with Protected Designation of Origin (Qualitätswein). The Österreichischen Traditionsweingütern association also have their own vineyard classification.

label description for Austrian wine

This is the permitted description for a wine style, but not a legal term. These are usually wines with medium alcohol levels that display varietal characters and no or subtle aromas of oak barrel maturation.

a type of soil that retains moisture, that prevails in Mittelburgenland

A type of soil that retains moisture, that prevails in Mittelburgenland. The soil is one of the three natural quality factors in viticulture, along with the vineyard site and the microclimate. There are divided into three soil horizons, A, B, and C. The following types of soils prevail in Austria; loess, sand, loam/marl/clay, primary rock, shale, limestone, brown earth, black earth and basalt.


Describes a clean and pure wine without any aromatic or taste fault.

a clean wine

Describes a wine without any negative taste.

clear and bright

A bright and clear wine.

clear, bright

A completely clear and bright wine.

the total of all weather-related elements

The term climate refers to the sum of the influences and elements of the weather, such as temperature, sunshine hours, rainfall, amongst other factors, that occur over a longer period of time, as opposed to short term or current weather patterns. We differentiate between the macroclimate (the large climatic zones), the mesoclimate (climatic influence of the individual states or regions), and the microclimate (the local cliamte in the single-vineyards or sites). Austria has three major climatic zone, these being the continental climate, the Pannonian climate and the Mediterranean climate.

the resulting offspring by asexual reproduction of a living being

A clone is the resulting offspring of a grape vine by asexual reproduction, and is genetically identical to its parent. Nevertheless, mutations of a variety do occur over time, and in Austria, the Viticultural School in Klosterneuburg is particularly active in this field.


Restrained wine without clearly recognisable aromatic characters, often the case with young, high quality wines, or wines shortly after the bottling (bottle shock), and the wine usually improves with aeration.


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