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.

C-O-S
Roman form of wine tasting

Roman formula for the sensoric wine tasting procedure, based on the colour (eye), odour (nose) and sapour (taste).

Cabernet Franc
red wine variety, selected from wild vines

Cabernet Franc is an age-old variety that probably originates from a wild vine. The variety became an acknowledged Austrian Qualitätswein variety in 1986. The wines generally display herbaceous notes, pepper pods and cassis fruit characters.

Cabernet Sauvignon
red wine variety, crossing Cabernet Franc x Sauvignon Blanc

Cabernet Sauvignon is an old Bordeaux variety, that took Austria by storm in the 1980's. If not fully ripe, the wines display unripe notes of green pepper, stinging nettle and cassis, yet with fully mature grapes, the results are of more spice and chocolate. Ther variety always has notable, gripping tannins and are usually aged in small oak barrels. Most Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with Merlot or Blaufränkisch, or other red wine varieties.

Cabinet
Kabinett

Old term for Kabinett wines.

calcareous soil

The type of soil was once on the shores of the primordial ocean. In Austria, calcareous soils are found on the Nussberg in Vienna, as well as in the Thermenregion, on the Leithaberg and in certain sites in the Südsteiermark, and give white wines mineral notes.

capsule
refers to the decorative or protective capsule on the top of a wine bottle
capsule cutter

A useful aid in cleanly cutting the capsule off the bottle (usually of plastic, aluminium, tin foil or zinc).

carafe
decanter

A glass bottle that comes in different bulbous forms, and is used in serving, aerating and decanting wine.

caramelised
taste impression

Sweet aroma and flavour, reminiscent of malt-flavoured sweets.

carbon dioxide / CO2

The common term for carbonic acid (carbon dioxide), which is formed during the alcoholic fermentation and the malolactic fermentation. Due to the fact that fermenting gases are heavier than air, it can be a potential health hazardous in the cellar during fermentation. CO2 is a colourless gas often added to white wines during bottling to enhance freshness. In the production of sparkling wine, carbon dioxide is produced during the second fermentation and is responsible for its characteristic mousseux.

carbonic acid (carbon dioxide)

The common term for carbonic acid (carbon dioxide), which is formed during the alcoholic fermentation and the malolactic fermentation. Due to the fact that fermenting gases are heavier than air, it can be a potential health hazardous in the cellar during fermentation. CO2 is a colourless gas often added to white wines during bottling to enhance freshness. In the production of sparkling wine, carbon dioxide is produced during the second fermentation and is responsible for its characteristic mousseux.

carbonic maceration
a fermenting process triggered by enzymes

A fermenting process triggered by enzymes with whole, healthy grapes. This wine-making operation is particularly popular when producing young and fruity red wines.

carbonic maceration
carbonic maceration

A fermenting process using whole, healthy grapes that are placed in an enclosed (steel) tank and covered with carbon dioxide and refrigerated. After a few days, the fermention process is triggered by enzymes within the individual grapes. This outcome is young and fruity red wines with low tannins and colour intensity. This method is usually used in the production of Beaujolais Nouveau, Pinot Noir and Zweigelt.

Carnuntum
Weinbaugebiet

The treasures of the historic Carnuntum vineyards are remarkable – especially the Zweigelt-based red wines that reflect regional typicity. The red wine assets range from lush and fruity Rubin Carnuntum to powerful cuvées. read more

cartridge filter
specific and very fine membrane filter that is highly effective in sterile filtration

A cartridge filter is used in the wine-making operation of filtration, or to remove undesired, cloudy particles from the must or wine. The following types of filters are common; depth or sheet filtration, kieselguhr, membrane or cartridge filters, rotary drum vacuum filter, pressure leaf filter, centrifugation, cross flow or tangential filtration.

cask or barrel
vessel made of oak

Vessel made of oak for the fermentation and maturation of wine.

Cassis
taste of blackcurrants

Denotes the essence or liquor of blackcurrants, and cassis is a popular description for the aroma of Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

cellar

Mostly subterrenean room used for the storage of wine.

Cellar Door Sales

The purchase of wine directly from the producer. This accounts for some 20% of all wine sold in Austria.

cellar mould
typical mould found in wine cellars

Dark, almost black mould that occurs in wine cellars with high himidity, and thrives on the floating wine elements and regulates the humidity.

cellar temperature

The ideal temperature for storing wine lies between 8 °C and 14 °C. The lower the temperature, the slower the wine will develop, and likewise, if the temperature is too high, or there is a significant change in temperature, then there is the risk of oxidation.

cellaring potential
a reasonable estimate of the length of time, that a wine remains pleasurable to drink

A reasonable estimate of the length of time, that a wine remains pleasurable to drink, and can be extremely subjective and individual. Yet the main factors are alcohol, residual sugar, acidity, tannin and most significantly, the maturity of the grapes.

centrifuge
a piece of equipment that rotates, removing particles and deposits in must or wine

Also known as a separator.

ceremony for the new vintage
a ceremony held on 11 November (Patron Saint Martin's Day), where the new vintage is blessed

Following the blessing of the wine, the young wine may be opened, toasted to and tasted.

chalk
calcium compounds

The common term form for calcium compounds, for example carbonic chalk (calcium carbonate), used for the deacidification of wine.

chambrer
bring the wine to room temperature

The French verb that describes the careful warming of the red wine, bringing it to room temperature (chambre = room).

Champagne
colloquial name for Champagne

Also a term used for Sekt or sparkling wine.

Chaptalization
Legal addition of sugar (from sugar beet)

The Chaptalization of wine, as defined by the addition of sugar beet (sucrose) to the grape must, to increase the alcohol strength of the wine. The maximum permitted limit for chaptalization of Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine) is 3.4kg of sucrose to 100 lites of grape must, which equates to a maximum increase of 2% alcohol by volume.

chaptalization
addition of sugar

The Chaptalization of wine, as defined by the addition of sugar beet (sucrose) to the grape must, to increase the alcohol strength of the wine. The maximum permitted limit for chaptalisation of Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine) is 3.4kg of sucrose to 100 lites of grape must, which equates to a maximum increase of 2% alcohol by volume.

chaptalization
addition of sugar beet

The Chaptalisation of wine, as defined by the addition of sugar beet (sucrose) to the grape must, to increase the alcohol strength of the wine. The maximum permitted limit for chaptalisation of Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine) is 3.4kg of sucrose to 100 lites of grape must, which equates to a maximum increase of 2% alcohol by volume.

Chaptalization
chaptalization

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.

character
style

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

Chardonnay
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.

chlorosis
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.

classic
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
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.

classique
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.

clay
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.

clean
a clean wine

Describes a wine without any negative taste.

clean

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

clear
clear and bright

A bright and clear wine.

clear, bright

A completely clear and bright wine.

climate
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.

clone
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.

closed

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.

closure

Alongside the traditional natural cork closure, there is also a wide range of alternative closures available on the market, which have appeared in recent years. These are the screwcap closures, glass closures, plastic cork closures, agglomerate corks and combination corks (agglomerate with two layers of natural cork), as well as the crown cork or cap closure.

cloudiness

Refers to a wine that is not (yet) bright and clear, or a wine that has gone hazy.

cloudy

A wine fault, when the wine is cloudy or hazy, with either white, black or brown curd-like floating matter.

cold fermentation
microbiological decomposition of organic matter

The alcoholic fermentation converts the available sugars in the grape must into alcohol and carbon dioxide, with brewer's yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as its catalyst. During this process, heat is produced, along with carbon gases, that need to be released. (Grape must + yeasts = alcohol + carbon dioxide + heat).

cold maceration
cooling of the grapes during the maceration to below 18 °C

Cold maceraction or cold soak is the cooling of the grapes during the maceration to below 18 °C, thus preventing the fermentation and the process helps to draw out the aromas, colour extract and tannins (particularly with red wines).

cold stabilsation
important wine-making operation during fermentation

Important wine-making operation during fermentation, with the purpose of controlling the fermentation or arresting the fermentation (particularly with white wines), but also for the removal of tartrate crystals (cold stabilisation). There are various methods used for cooling the grapes, must or wine.

collective vineyard site
a large vineyard area

This refers to a large vineyard area that is often shared by a large number of neighbouring producers, and are situated within a winegrowing region or commune. The character of the wines is usually similar, and although the term Grosslage is less common in Austria than it is in Germany, there are examples in the Weinviertel (Matzner-Hügel), Mittelburgenland (Goldbachtal), Wagram (Klosterneuburg), and Vienna (Nußberg).

colour

In wine tasting, we differentiate between the depth and the shade of the colour. With red wines, the core and the hue (edge) are also considered. Generally, white wine gains a darker shade with bottle age, and red wine becomes lighter over time.

complex

A wine that displays an array of aromas and flavours.

complex

describes a wine with a wide spectrum of aromas.

concentrated grape must

Concentrated grape must alternative to sugar beet (sucrose) for use in chaptalization. In some EU countries, Rectified Concentrated Grape Must (RCGM) is used, see chaptalization.

connoisseur
wine expert

French term for a wine expert

controlled fermentation
microbiological decomposition of organic matter

The alcoholic fermentation converts the available sugars in the grape must into alcohol and carbon dioxide, with brewer's yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as its catalyst. During this process, heat is produced, along with carbon gases, that need to be released. (Grape must + yeasts = alcohol + carbon dioxide + heat).

cool, temperature controlled fermentation
temperature controlled microbiological decomposition of organic matter

A temperature-controlled or cool fermentation is an important measure in quality, particularly for white wines. At a temperature of 18° to 20° Celsius, the fermentation process is slower and more consistent, with reduced loss of alcohol and aromas. This is achieved by the continuous stream of flowing water along the cooling hoses in the tanks or casks, or by refrigerated in double-skin tanks.

cooper
constructor of oak barrels
copper sulphate
the product used for treating wines with hydrogen sulphide odour or the smell of rotten eggs

The product used for treating wines with hydrogen sulphide odour or the smell of rotten eggs.

cordon spur training
type of vine training system

Internationally widespread form of vine training system (with wires) with a specific method of pruning.

cork taint
a wine fault that displays an undesirable mouldy, musty smell and taste

A wine fault that displays an undesirable mouldy, musty smell and taste. The cause is the presence of trichloroanisole (TCA), and we differentiate between the classic (unmistakable) cork taint, and a subtle taste of cork, and the latter often suppresses the fruit of the wine and can be difficult to detect.

corked
cork taint

The German word "stoppelt" refers to a wine with cork taint.

corks
type of bottle closure

Natural bottle closure made from the bark of the cork oak. Natural cork has the benefit of being flexible, allows a certain amount of airflow, and generally has a positive image. The disadvantages are the risk of cork taint, the high price, its susceptibility to the cork moth as well as its limited lifespan. Further types of cork closures are, amongst other forms, the agglomerate cork and the combination cork.

coulure
A deficiency that causes the failure of grapes to develop after flowering, after cool, damp or very hot weather during flowering (usually beginning of June).

The results are loose-berried grapes and reduced yield. The varieties that are particularly susceptible to coulure are e.g Muskat Ottonel, Neuburger, Sankt Laurent.

crisp

Taste impression for quite an acidic, dry, usually fruity and racy wine.

crossing

Method in vine breeding, with the intention of creating a new variety (cultivated vines) that has more positive characteristics and increased hardiness in the new crossing (new cultivation).

Cru
prime vineyard site

Cru is the French term for the single vineyard or classed growth.

crushing

The grapes are usually crushed after destemming, to ease the flow of juice.

Cryoextraktion
wine-making operation

This is the process of mechanically freezing healthy grape material by refrigeration, in order to produce (a form of) ice wine.

cult wine

High quality, predominantly expensive wine, that is produced in small quantites from renowned producers.

cultivated, selected 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.

Cuvee
blend

The French term that describes the blending of wines (cuve is French for enclosed vat or barrel), and the wine blended can be from different varieties, vineyards or vintages.

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