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.

pail
unit of measurement

An old measurement of capacity, usually equating to 56.6 litres (one pail or bucket) up to the 1000 ‘Eimer‘ or pail wooden cask.

pale

Refers to the colour intensity of the wine, in this case a pale wine.

Pannobile
brand collaboration

A successful brand collaboration from Gols (Neusiedlersee winegrowing region), whose chosen brand name derives from Pannonia (once a Roman province) and noble (from the German word Nobile).

passé
past it

The French derived word to describe a wine that is old and overdeveloped.

past it

A wine that is well past its peak, and no longer tastes as good as it once did.

peak condition

Refers to a wine with mature aromas and taste, that has reached its peak and is a pleasure to drink.

pepper note
The Austrian description for the pepper aroma in wine

The pepper spice aroma is a characteristic that is also specific to Grüner Veltliner from the Weinviertel.

peppery

Perception of a spicy aroma and flavour, typical for Grüner Veltliner.

perfume
aroma

The positive description for blossomy, floral aromatic impressions of a wine, for example the rose petal fragrance with Traminer.

perfumed

The excessive aromatic character of wine, primarily with aromatic varieties.

peronospera
fungal vine disease

Peronospera is also known as downy mildew.

pesticide
insecticide

The common name for all chemical pesticides. In Austria, the use of pesticides and fungicides is seldom employed.

Pétillant Naturel (Pet Nat)

Perl- or Schaumwein (sparkling wine), produced by the méthode ancestrale
The not fully fermented grape must is filled in bottles to finish the fermentation process. This method is the oldest and least invasive way of producing Perl- or Schaumwein. Generally, Pet Nats display a pressure of under 3 bar. Such Pet Nats belong to the Perlwein category.

petrol note

Aroma of mature white wine, with an aroma reminiscent of kerosine, tar and coffee. These aromatic components are particularly prevailant in aged Riesling.

pH value
the measurement for the acidity (or hardness) of wine
phenolic, tannic

A dry wine with high tannins.

phenolics, tannins
affect the taste impression of a wine

Tannins and phenolics are part of the polyphenols, and are particularly dominant in the content of red wine.

phenols
large, important group of highly reactive chemical and organic compounds

Phenols exist in the skins, pips and stalks of (black) grapes: these phenols include the anthocyanins (colour pigmentation), the flavonoids (colour and flavourings) as well as the tannins (phenolics). The general description for these components is polyphenols.

pheromone
pheromones are employed as a preventative measure to confuse certain animal specials (especially against the grape caterpillar)

Pheromones and pheromone traps are predominantly employed in natural and organic viticulture.

Phylloxera
a vineyard pest that was brought to Europe from its native America

Phylloxera vastatrix is the description for the vineyard pest that feeds on the roots and the leaves of a grapevine. The common European vine dies off once its roots have been infected by the pest. During the second half of the 19th Century, a whole of European viticulture had been affected and suffered damage. The only solution was to graft the scion of a European vine onto the rootstock of the phylloxera resistent American native vine variety, thus preventing complete devastation in the vineyards.

phylloxera
a vineyard pest that was brought to Europe from its native America

Phylloxera vastatrix is the description for the vineyard pest that feeds on the roots and the leaves of a grapevine. The common European vine dies off once its roots have been infected by the pest. During the second half of the 19th Century, a whole of European viticulture had been affected and suffered damage. The only solution was to graft the scion of a European vine onto the rootstock of the phylloxera resistent American native vine variety, thus preventing complete devastation in the vineyards.

phylloxera resistant

The roots of native American vines are immune to phylloxera, hence their use as rootstocks.

physiological ripeness
the stage of peak ripeness, when optimal aromatic development in the grape is achieved and when the phenolics in the black grapes are perfectly ripe

The exact definition of physiological ripeness is extremely difficult to define, and can often be controversial, usually being based on specific habits.  Whereas, at one time, the must weight was a decisive factor, as time passed, the acidity values and pH levels also began to play a role. Nowadays, the pips of the grapes define the physiological ripeness of a grape, and should be slightly brown in colour, have a mild, nutty taste, and not be too interwoven with the flesh of the grape.

Pinot Blanc
a Pinot variety

Refers to the youngest member of the extensive, old Pinot varieties, that is also widespread all over the world. The classic style of wines aged in steel tank are aromatic, delicate and elegant on the palate, with its soft fruit, a touch of herbaceousness and nutty spice, make outstanding companions to food. The international style of Pinot blanc, with malolactic fermentation and oak barrel maturation, is convincing with its opulence and length, as are Pinot blanc wines that are blended with other Pinot varieties.

Pinot Gris
a Pinot variety

Pinot Gris is the link connecting Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc, and was probably brought to Austria during the 14th Century. The grapes are susceptible to higher sugar levels and if very ripe, the colour of the grapes is a deep, golden yellow colour with light red reflections. The Pinot Gris  wines are quite versatile, ranging from clean table wine (e.g. Pinot Grigio) to a more international style with malolactic characters and oak barrel maturation, to high quality dessert wines.

Pinot Noir
member of the Pinot varieties

The Pinot Noir is an ancient variety from the Pinot family of varieties, and is a natural crossing of Pinot Meunier x Traminer. This highly regarded, classic variety is recognisable by its pale, often light brown shade of colour, with an aroma reminiscent of rowan berries, almonds, marzipan and sweet chestnuts. This international variety is largely cultivated in the cooler vineyards in the Thermenregion (e.g. Burgundermacher wine producers).

Pinot varieties
group, or family of grape varieties

The Pinot varieties include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and additionally (Pinot) Chardonnay and Sankt Laurent.
 

plastic cork closure

Or simply called the plastic cork, which often has more disadvantages than benefits. This type of closure is primarily used for simple Qualitätswein or young wines.

pleasant
tasting impression

Refers to a balanced, harmonious wine, that does not merit on having extract, but is pleasant, easy drinking wine.

plump

Describes a round, opulent wine.

pneumatic press
A piece of machinery used in the wine-making operation of crushing or pressing the grapes or must

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.

pollination
fertilisation

This term refers to pollination, denoting the fertilisation of the female part of the grapevine flowers.

polyphenols
general term for aromatic compounds

The polyphenoles in wine are often described as being vitamin "P", due to their positive benefits being acknowledged during a (moderate) consumption of wine.

pouring wine
a pouring (house) wine is usually a simple, quality wine

These wines are sold by the glass in restaurants and bars, and the preferred bottle format is the 1 litre or 2 litre bottle.

powdery mildew
fungal disease

Fungal disease that also affects grape vines.

powerful

full bodied, high alcohol wine with firm structure.

powerful, vigorous

Describes a powerful, full-bodied and opulent wine, with high alcohol.

Prädikatswein
Austrian wine category

The grapes must fulfil strict requirement and are classified according to their must weight. Spätlese has for example a minimum must weight of 19° KMW, Auslese (21° KMW), Strohwein (grapes dried on straw mats) Eiswein (ice wine) and Beerenauslese all require 25° KMW. The Ruster Ausbruch requires 30° KMW and Trockenbeerenauslese requires at least 30° KMW. The residual sugar of these wines may only derive from the fermentation time, either by deliberatley arresting fermentation or through its natural end, and by no means may the wine be sweetened by Süssreserve (sweet grape must).

preliminary harvest
first harvest of the vintage

A preliminary harvest is the first harvest of the vintage, when grapes for grapeguice, young wine or 'Sturm' (the Austrian partially fermented cloudy beverage) are picked. Weather conditions can also play a role.

preliminary harvest
selective work cycle in the vineyard prior to the main harvest

In the preliminary harvest grapes are thinned out, particularly putrid or rotting grapes.

premium

This is not a legal term, but applies to the best wine with the highest quality of any one particular wine estate.

Premium Weingüter Weinviertel
the name of a vintner association

With the aim of improving the quality and marketing of wines from the Weinviertel, a group of the region's best producers formed this collaborative association.

press

A piece of machinery used in the wine-making operation of crushing or pressing the grapes or must. 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.

press house

The traditional building or room reserved for the vinification of wine, and where the wine press is housed.

pressure tank
steel tank

Steel tank construction, widely used for the production of sparkling wine.

pricked
wine fault

A wine with a perceived wine fault (such as a flaw from acetic acid or malic acid).

primary fruit, primary aromas
impression of taste

Youthful, varietal aromas that are typical for wines such as the Gelber Muskateller (Muscat), Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Traminer.

primary rock
the vague and general description for base rock

Base rock is found predominantly in the Wachau, as well as in parts of Kremstal and Kamptal.

Primeur / Nouveau
common description for the new or first wines of a new vintage, that arrive onto the market in the autumn

In Austria, these wines are the 'Junge Österreicher' (young Austrian wines) and the Steirische Junker, amongst others.

Primus Carnuntum
brand collaboration based in Carnuntum, that is specialised in producing and marketing a young (red) wine
Producer
winemaker or vintner

Wineries or Associations (such as a cooperative), who grow their own grapes, may use the wording Erzeuger or Erzeugerabfüllung on an Austrian wine label.

pronounced bouquet
intensive, pronounced aromas

Very intensive, almost pungent aroma and flavour compounds (almost as though the aromas were added).

Prosecco

Prosecco is an Italian grape variety (particularly in the winegrowing region of Veneto), from which (cheap and) simple sparkling wine is made.
 

pruning
important procedure for the grape vine, during the dormant period of the vine (in winter)

During this winter pruning, the vine is adjusted to suit the chosen vine training system and can have an influence over the quality of the wine (yield to quality law). Relevant to each type of training system, we talk of a spur (2-3 buds), fruit cane or rod (4 – 5 buds), (green) shoot cane (6 – 8 buds) and cordon (more than 8 buds).

pulp

Describes the solid components of the black grapes (skins, pips and perhaps the stalks) that are pushed up to the surface of the mash by carbon dioxide. In order for a high quality red wine to achieve the necessary colour and tannin, it is essential to keep the pulp or cap moist at all times.

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