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Glossary

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.

Natural Wine

This inexact term is often applied to wines produced with the least possible intervention during the process of vinification.  

According to Austrian Wine Law, in the case of organic Landwein or organic wine without a more specific designation of origin 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’, ‘orangewine’ or ‘natural wine’. Read more

natural yeasts
Pilze

We talk of a spontaneous fermentation, when only the natural or wild yeasts, which are also found on the grapes, are used to trigger fermentation (and not cultured yeasts).

Nebukadnezar
bottle format size

Large bottle size with a capacity of 15 litres.

Négociant
French term for a bottler or wine merchant
Négociant eleveur
a wine producer who doesn't own vineyards

A wine merchant who sells grapes, must or young wine, that is vinified and bottled, yet is a vintner without vineyards.

nets

Nets are spread across the vines to protect the ripe grapes from birds (especially starlings).

Neuburger
indigenous white wine variety

Old indigenous white wine variety that is still widespread in the Thermenregion. It is a natural crossing of Roter Veltliner x Sylvaner, and was previously popular in the dry regions (e.g. Wachau, Furth-Göttweig). The wines display an elegant, harmonious structure with delicate spice and soft, juicy acidity.

Neusiedlersee
wingegrowing area

wThe area on the eastern shore of the vast, shallow Lake Neusiedl is home to one of the world’s best terroirs for sweet wines such as Beerenauslesen (BA) and Trockenbeerenauslesen (TBA). Read more

neutral

Undistinguishable wine, without any specific aromatic or flavoured characteristics.

neutralising wine

After or during an extensive wine tasting, it is often the case that a simple, neutral wine is served to allow the strained taste buds to recover and relax, thus preparing the palate for further wine consuming pleasure.

new crossing
the result of crossing two varieties, with the aim of creating a vine that has improvements upons its parents.

Famous new crossings are for example, Müller-Thurgau (Riesling x Chasselat de Courtellier), Blauer Zweigelt (Sankt Laurent x Blaufränkisch), and Blauburger (Blauer Portugieser x Blaufränkisch).

new oak
describes the taste of new, but untoasted, oak barrels
New vintage / Heuriger wine tavern

The word Heuriger has two interpretations, firstly it describes the wine from the last (or most recent) vintage, and in former years, the key date was 11 November. On the other hand, the term refers to the wine tavern, where own-produce wine and simple, cold foods are served. See also Buschenschank.

New World

Contrary to the Old World, the New World includes the former colonies of for example North America (USA and Canada), South America (particularly Argentina and Chile), South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Niederösterreich (Lower Austria)
generic winegrowing region

Niederösterreich is the largest generic wine appellation in Austria, and forms the predominant part of the viticultural region known as 'Weinland'. The part of 'Weinland” situated along the River Danube has developed both dramatically and postively over the past few decades, and is subdivided into individual winegrowing regions, such as the Wachau, which boasts its own unique territorial protection. Other regions located along the Danube include Kremstal, Kamptal and on the southern bank of the Danube, Traisental, which has defined DAC designations for the regional typicity of its leading varieties Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. In the winegrowing region known as Wagram, wine producers cultivate the white wine speciality, called Roter Veltliner, alongside the ubiquitous Grüner Veltliner with absolute conviction. Weinviertel is Austria's largest single winegrowing region, and is regarded as being the pioneer behind the DAC designations of origin, as well as being the home of Grüner Veltliner's signature “peppery” note. In Carnuntum, the winegrowing region renowned for its competence in red wine production, Blauer Zweigelt is the most important variety. Directly south of Vienna, Thermenregion offers an array of indigenous varieties from the white Rotgipfler and Zierfandler specialities, to the black Sankt Laurent grape.

noble

A wine that is literally noble and very fine.

noble rot
benevolent form of rot

Botrytis cinerea in its benevolent form is a fungus responsible for noble rot. The fungus encourages the evaporation of juice and fruit concentration within the grape, influencing both aroma and taste. Noble rot occurs regularly in climatically favoured winegrowing regions, such as Seewinkel and Rust in Burgenland.

Nose
Wine jargon for the bouquet

"The positive description of the aroma components that derive from the grape. The various types of aromas, ranging from floral, fruity, spicy and so on, are listed in the aroma wheel. This includes the bouquet in the nose and the retronasal aroma perception at the back of the throat, often described in English as the flavour.
We sub-divide the aromas into three categories, the primary, secondary and tertiary aromas or bouquet. Primary aromas refer to the fruit flavour components found in the grape, and which upon tasting, are recognisable with aromas present in the finished wine. We speak of wine-like or grapey aromas, and often you can recognise the character of the grape variety from a particular scent of berries, fruit, petals or flower, for example the intense rose petal aroma in Traminer. The secondary aromas come from the winery, and are aromatic components that derive from grape handling, fermentation and the maturation of the wine. You can even refer to the smell of fermentation, or detect wine faults (such as too much sulphur dioxide) yet the more desirable aromas include roasting or toasting and vanilla from oak barrel aging. The tertiary aromas are those that develop with bottle aging, a typical example being the development of the petrol note with maturing Riesling. Again, wine faults may also be included, the most common being cork taint".

nucleation point

This is a deliberate etching or imperfection in the base of a Champagne or sparkling wine glass, to facilitate the effervescense of the bubbles and encourage a steady stream of bubbles of carbon dioxide (also mousse).

nursery

The reproduction and grafting operation of cultivated grape vines, so that seedlings are available for vintners and producers.

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