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.

Saccharomyces
yeast genus

The most important type of yeast for fermentation is Saccharomyces Cerevisiae.

sacramental wine

The wine for Holy Mass must be produced according to the Canon book of law and naturally made (neither chaptalized nor deacidified). Primarily used for Holy Mass in church.

Saignée method

In France, this is known as the Saignée method, and describes the process of removing the must from the red wine mash (partial or first juice) and the remaining solids are left to naturally extract colour and tannin. The first juice can be used to produce rosé wine.

SALON Österreich Wein
The most challenging wine competition in Austria.

The SALON Austrian wine challenge is regarded as the national wine championships for Austrian wines for over two decades, and is the most rigorous wine competition in the country. The 260 members, or winners, are primarily determined through the regional wine tastings (from over 7,000 entries), as well as being nominated by Sommelières and Sommeliers, wine journalists and wine magazines.

salty

Tasting impression, that is often perceived in mineral-rich wines.

Sämling 88
a new variety created by the German botanist Georg Scheu in 1916

Georg Scheu crossed Riesling with Bukettraube. As a Qualitätswein, the Sämling 88 is predominant in the Steiermark, where it is pleasantly fruity. The variety is in its best form as a nobly sweet wine, and Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese fascinate with a wide spectrum of tropical notes, pronounced aromatics and perfect spice.

Sankt Laurent
Austrian red wine variety

The indigenous Austrian red wine variety is a member of the Pinot family, and is known for being quite demanding and difficult in the vineyard. The Burgundermacher is a united group of winemakers based in the Thermenregion, who along with some red wine specialists in Burgenland, have produced some concentrated Sankt Laurent wines, oozing with dark fruit, velvety elegance and a fine taste of bitter chocolate and herbs. Its name originates from St. Lawrence's Day (10 August), the date when the grapes apparently begin to change colour. The world's largest Sankt Laurent producer is Stift Klosterneuburg, with some 40 hectares planted in the Ried Stiftsbreite vineyard in Tattendorf.

Sauvignon Blanc
white wine variety

The Sauvignon Blanc is regarded as a shooting star, and not just in the Steiermark. It probably originates from a natural crossing of Traminer x Chenin Blanc. The variety was once known for its predominantly green, pepper-pod like spicy aromas, yet nowadays, a riper style is preferred, and the wines display mature, mineral varietal characters, with riper and complex layers of fruit (blackcurrants, melons) over floral notes (elderflowers). The spectrum of styles range from classic stainless steel tank aged examples, to single vineyard versions with an international touch (MLF, oak barrel maturation). Even the fascinating mixture of both stypes of vinification can thrill wine enthusiasts.

Scheurebe
Sämling 88

Georg Scheu probably crossed Riesling with a wild vine. As a Qualitätswein, the Sämling 88 is predominant in the Steiermark, where it is pleasantly fruity. The variety is in its best form as a nobly sweet wine, and Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese fascinate with a wide spectrum of tropical notes, pronounced aromatics and perfect spice.

Schilcher
The pink or onion-skin coloured wine, that is produced exclusively from the Blauer Wildbacher variety.

The variety is native to the Weststeiermark, and it grows on gneiss and slate soils and develops an often grassy and spicy bouquet, over white and blackcurrant aromas. The palate displays distinctive, robust acidity that supports the fruit and mineral aspects of the wine. The name Schilcher is a protected term for the Steiermark. Further "lively" products from the Blauer Wildbacher variety include the Schilchersturm, Schilcherfrizzante and Schilchersekt.

Schilfwein

Wines produced from fully ripened and naturally sugar-rich grapes, that are left to dry on straw or reed mats for a minimum period of three months prior to pressing. After this natural period of concentration (drying of the grapes) the minimum required must weight of 25° KMW is achieved

secondary aromas
Applies to all aromas that develop during the vinification and maturation of the wine.

Includes fermenting aromas, yeasty notes, oak aromas (from barrel maturation) see aroma.

seedling
a new vine that is cultivated from a seedling

A well-known seedling variety is the Sämling 88.

Seewinkel
most southerly part of the Neusiedlersee winegrowing regions

Description for the most southerly part of the Neusiedlersee winegrowing regions in Burgenland. There is a unique microclimate here, due to the multitude of small lakes and ponds.

Sekt
Austrian quality sparkling wine, that may only be produced used classified quality grape varieties

The carbon dioxide must develop either in the bottle or in a tank during fermentation, and the pressure has to be at least 3.5 bar. Sekt may only be produced in Austria by registered producers or contracted Sekt producers. See sparkling wine.

Sekt dosage
term used in the vinification of sparkling wine

The residual sugar contect must be declared on the label as follows: naturherb, brut nature is less than 3 g/l ; extra herb, extra brut: 0 to 6 g/l; herb, brut: less than 12 g/l; extra trocken, extra dry: 12 to 17 g/l; trocken, dry, sec: 17 to 32 g/l; halbtrocken, medium dry, demi sec: 32 to 50 g/l; mild, sweet, doux; at least 50 g/l.

Selection

The Austrian term for a rigorous selection of the best wine barrels for a particular wine, tasted using the syphon or pipette. One particularly famous example is the Sankt Laurent Ausstich from Stift Klosterneuburg.

Selektion

This term is a permitted declaration on an Austrian wine label, and conveys a high quality wine, but it is not a specific legal definition. Similar to Ausstich.

sense of smell

The oldest sense in the human body, that can differentiate between 10,000 aromas, aided by some 10 million olfactory cells in the olfactory glands in our noses.

sense of taste

The taste buds on our tongues each contain 50 - 100 sensory cells, and these chemical stimuli are passed onto our brains. In wine tasting, we talk about the sweetness, the acidity, tannins, maturity of the wine, and body as well as its extract, alcohol, length and harmony, amongst other things.

sensory analysis
sensory evaluation

The general term used to describe the total sensory appreciation of a wine. In wine sensory analysis, the senses of sight, smell and taste play a central role.

Separator
centrifuge

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

serving temperature

Temperature plays a central role in the vinification (temperature of the fermentation), in the storage of wine (wine cellar temperature) and particularly in the restaurants. The pleasure of enjoying a wine is defined by the serving temperature and correct drinking temperature of the wine.

sharp

Describes an aggresive wine with either unbalanced acidity, too much alcohol or bitter, sharp tannins.

sharp

Describes a wine with unbalanced, aggressive or unripe acidity.

sheet filter
Wine-making operation with must and wine to remove unwanted particles.

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.

Sherry note
wine fault

When the must or wine compounds react with oxygen, generally described as a Sherry tone or oxidation.

Shiraz

The Shiraz is at home in the south of France, in the winegrowing region of the Rhône valley, from where it then travelled the globe, arriving in Australia, where it is called Shiraz. The red wine variety became an officially classified Austrian quality grape variety in 2001. The wines display intensive and complex aromas of herbaceous elements, such as herbs, ivy and eucalyptus, along with pepper-pod spice, making them a perfect choice for maturation in small oak barrels with long-term aging potential.

shoot

The young shoot or growth of a vine.

short

Describes a wine with little length and a short aftertaste.

short

The wine lacks length and had no lasting aftertaste.

Silberberg

Viticultural and oenology school in the Südsteiermark.

silky
supple

Refers to a soft, silky and balanced wine.

Silvaner
old European quality grape variety

A natural crossing of Traminer x Österreichisch-Weiß, that now has little significance in Austria, but is widespread in Germany, where it is called Silvaner. The wines are quite neutral and soft, yet make great food wines.

sinewy

Describes a wine with lively, vibrant acidic zest and extract, without seeming sharp or harsh.

Single Vineyard
Cru or site

German language term for vineyard.

slate
type of soil

Also called shale or schist, this is a brittle stone that retains warmth, and this type of soils gives the wine a minerally touch.

slightly sparkling wine
a sparkling wine that is primarily produced with the tank method or impregnated with carbon dioxide

This slightly sparkling wine is often called Perlwein or Frizzante in Austria, and must have at least 1 bar and a maximum of 2.5 bar of pressure.

sloping site

A vineyard site with a steep incline or gradient.

Smaragd
the highest of the three quality categories in the Wachau

Description for dry, unchaptalized wines, made from physiologically ripe grapes with an alcohol level of 12.5% by volume. The description resembles the emerald-green lizard, that feels quite at home on the vineyard terraces of the Wachau. See also Steinfeder and Federspiel.

smell or taste of grapes

Describes the aromatic components, which reflect the primary aromas of the variety (e.g. Muscat).

smoky

An aroma or taste that is reminiscent of smoke, frequent in new oak barrels (new oak or heavy toasting).

smooth

the wine tastes smooth, or round, and harmonious

smooth
supple, elegant

Elegant, that can also be styled, or influenced by blending or deacidification.

SO2
sulphur dioxide

Refers to the chemical element used as a reduction and sterilising agent in viticulture and vinification, and that is available in solid, liquid and gaseous forms. In winemaking, sulphur in the form of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and sulphurous acid (H2SO3) are the required chemical aids. There is a maximum legally permitted restriction as well as a chemical analysis for the contents of free and bound sulphur dioxide and total sulphur.

soft

Wine with soft, mild acidity.

soft

Describes a soft, mild wine without pronounced acidity or dominating tannic taste.

soil (structure)

The composition of the soil is one of the three most important quality factors in viticulture, along with the vineyard and microclimate. The A, B and C levels are differentiated. In Austria, the following soil types prevail, loess, sand, loam/clay,lime, primary rock, slate/schist, limestone, brown earth, black earth and basalt.

Sommelier
wine expert

The Sommelier is an important advisor on all that is related to wine and cuisine. As a wine waiter, or waitress, the prerequisite is a sound knowledge in the fields of cheese, coffee, beer and cigars. Other areas of responsibility include purchasing, the compilation and design of the wine list, waiting and making recommendations (especiallty food and wine combinations). In the Austrian WIFI vocational colleges, there is a three tier educational programme on offer, from Wine Expert, Sommelier and culminating in the Diplomsommelier/Diplomsommelière qualification.

Sommerlière
female wine expert

The Sommelière is an important advisor on all that is related to wine and cuisine. As a wine waiter, or waitress, the prerequisite is a sound knowledge in the fields of cheese, coffee, beer and cigars. Other areas of responsibility include purchasing, the compilation and design of the wine list, waiting and making recommendations (especiallty food and wine combinations). In the Austrian WIFI vocational colleges, there is a three tier educational programme on offer, from Wine Expert, Sommelier and culminating in the Diplomsommelier/Diplomsommelière qualification.

Souvignier Gris
PIWI variety

The Souvignier Gris is a fungus-resistant variety, crossed by Norbert Becker, and is to be found primarily in the Steiermark. Its tendency toward abundant yields makes thinning-out of the grapes necessary.

sparkling

Wine or sparkling wine that contains a perceptible amount of carbon dioxide.

sparkling

A lightly carbonated wine, that tingles on the tongue, and also a characteristic of some young wines.

Sparkling wine
the general term for wine, that contains pressurised carbon dioxide

The visual evidence for sparkling wine is the effervescence of bubbles when opened and poured, and the mousseux on the palate. We differentiate between various production methods, such as the fermentation in the bottle (classic method), the transvasement method (filtering off the lees) and tank fermentation (Méthode Charmat). Slightly sparkling wine is usually produced by impregnating carbon dioxide. In Austria, the production of Sekt as a quality sparkling wine is very important, and the term Hauersekt (vintner's Sekt) is protected for Austrian use.

Spätlese
wine produced from fully ripened grapes with a minimum must weight of 19° KMW

wine produced from fully ripened grapes with a minimum must weight of 19° KMW, see Prädikatswein.

Spätrot
synonym for Zierfandler

Indigenous and rare variety in the Thermenregion also known as the Spätrot. Its name originates from its reddish colour grapes of this late-ripening variety. The Zierfandler proves to be quite a challenge in the vineyard, as it ripens late but starts to rot early. The wines are always rich in extract, racy and spicy with fruity and herbaceous characters. The sweet or dessert Zierfandler wines are in top form and are proven to long-term aging potential. The Zierfandler is sometimes still cultivated as a field blend or as a wine blend with the Rotgipfler variety, resulting in the "Spätrot-Rotgipfler“ wine.

Spätrot-Rotgipfler
The blend or field blend (Gemischte Satz) made from both the varieties Zierfandler (Spätrot) and Rotgipfler in the Thermenregion
spicy

Describes a wine with elegant and enticing fruity acidity.

spicy

Describes a wine that smells or tastes of spice, for example in wine terminology, the aroma of pepper, cinnamon or vanilla.

spontaneous fermentation

Natural, wild yeasts are used to trigger off the fermentation (without the addition of cultivated yeasts).

spritzy

Lively and fresh wine, with vibrant, natural carbon dioxide.

spur

Defined type of pruning the vine shoots (every 2-3 buds).

St Martin‘s Day (11 November)

A custom celebrating the Patron Saint Martin on 11 November, especially in Burgenland.

stainless steel tank
wine tank or vat

Tanks made from stainless steel  in modern cellars for the vinification and maturation, particularly during the production of white wine, to retain the fresh, fruity characters.

stalk
part of the grape

The stalks are part of the grapes, and with the stem, is usually removed prior to vinification.

standard Bordeaux bottle
shape of the typical Bordeaux wine bottle

This bottle form originates from Bordeaux, where ist is the most common shape. It is popular in Austria for both red and white wine.

State wine authorities
Wine inspection authorities in Austria

The wine inspection authorities in Eisenstadt and Klosterneuburg.

Staubiger
refers to a young, still cloudy wine
steely

Describes a tight, well structured and sometimes hard wine. For white wines, the harsh acidity sometimes draws out metallic associations, and a Blaufränkisch from Eisenberg can also seem steely.

steep inclined site
refers to a sloped vineyard site with a gradient of at least 26%

In Austria, these vineyards are primarily situated in the Wachau and in the Steiermark.

Steiermark (Styria)
generic winegrowing region

The Steiermark is Austria's third largest generic winegrowing appellation. The wide range of varieties and diversity of the 'terroir' between the winegrowing regions of Vulkanland Steiermark and Südsteiermark is quite remarkable. It is this distinctiveness between the countryside and the styles of wines that give the Steiermark its charm. Statistically, Welschriesling is the most widespread variety, yet its reputation is dominated by Sauvignon Blanc. The Weststeiermark has been able to distinguish itself as being Schilcherland.

Steinfeder
the protected description for a dry, light-bodied wine from the Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus association, with a maximum alcohol content of 11.5% by volume

The name comes from the local "Steinfedergras" (Stipa pinnata), a grass which grows near the vines in the terraced vineyards, and is light like a feather, and delicately fragrant; just like the wine named after it. See also Federspiel and Smaragd.

Steirerland
the protected geographical indication for Landwein (land wine), that includes the whole of the Federal state of Styria
Steirischer Junker
wine brand in the Steiermark

The ‘Junker‘ is a registered trademark for the first wines from the Steiermark (since 1995), and the logo is a man wearing the typically Styrian hat with a distinctive feather. The officially Junker presentation from over 300 producers occurs at the beginning of November.

sticky

A broad wine that seems to lack finesse, and is often the case when a wine has undergone harsh deacidification.

still wine

Describes a wine with little or no carbon dioxide, that (contrary to sparkling or slightly sparkling wines) has neither a mousseaux nor bubbles.

STK
Steirische Klassik association

The full name of the acronym STK is "Steirische Terroir- und Klassikweingüter“. It is an association made up of the regions very best producers, who have devised their own quality seal of approval and classification of single vineyards, and essentially created the wine label description "Steirische Klassik“.

Strohwein

Wines produced from fully ripened and naturally sugar-rich grapes, that are left to dry on straw or reed mats for a minimum period of three months prior to pressing. After this natural period of concentration (drying of the grapes) the minimum required must weight of 25° KMW is achieved.

structured

Wine with a robust taste, volume and balanced structure, supported by lingering acidity and/or tannins, as well as balanced alcohol and extract.

stuck fermentation

If the temperature of the fermentation is too high, or the yeasts are too weak, then it can happen that the fermentation will accidentally stop, or become stuck, or left with unwanted residual sugar content.

Sturm
partially fermented grape must, that may only produced using Austrian grapes

Sturm may only be sold between 1 August and 31 December of the current vintage, and in a “state of fermentation”. The term “Sturm” is protected for use in Austria.

style
The subjective signature of a winemaker during vinification.
subscription

The practice of buying wine futures, especially with expensive or sought after wines, that are sold when they are often still maturing in the barrel.

Südsteiermark
winegrowing region

Southern Styria’s vineyards lacing steep slopes characterize one of the world’s most charming wine landscapes. Providing a spectacular view is the South Styrian Wine Road. Read more

Südsteiermark DAC

From the 2018 vintage on, Südsteiermark DAC may be released to the market. Following the Styrian system of origins, the levels Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (local or "villages" wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine) are distinguished. Welschriesling, Weissburgunder, Morillon (Chardonnay), Grauburgunder, Riesling, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer as well as blends from these varieties form the base of the three-tier system. Read more

sugar

Grapes contain the natural form of sugar as fructose and glucose. Sugar beet (saccharose) may be added to the must (with legal maximum limits), see chaptalization. The unfermented sugar value (residual sugar) must be declared in its respective term on the label.

sulphate
chemical element

Refers to the chemical element used as a reducing and sterilising agent in viticulture and vinification, and that is available in solid, liquid and gaseous forms. In winemaking, sulphur in the form of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and sulphurous acid (H2SO3) are the required chemical aids. There is a maximum legally permitted restriction as well as a chemical analysis for the contents of free and bound sulphur dioxide and total sulphur.

sulphur
chemical element

Refers to the chemical element used as a reducing and sterilising agent in viticulture and vinification, and that is available in solid, liquid and gaseous forms. In winemaking, sulphur in the form of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and sulphurous acid (H2SO3) are the required chemical aids. There is a maximum legally permitted restriction as well as a chemical analysis for the contents of free and bound sulphur dioxide and total sulphur.

summer wine

generally refers to a simple, easy drinking wine for the warm season, low in alcohol and with vibrant acidity

sun-burn

Visual evidence of excessive sunshine on individual grapes, leaving the finished wine with a bitter, phenolic taste.

sur lie
aging on lees

The French expression of aging the wine on its lees.

Süßmostreserve

Unfermented grape must, made stable after a special process, is added to the wine prior to bottling, in order to obtain the desired residual sugar. This practice is (compared to Germany) a practice rare in Austria, and is prohibited from the Kabinett quality category and above.

Süßreserve

Unfermented grape must, made stable after a special process, is added to the wine prior to bottling, in order to obtain the desired residual sugar. This practice is (compared to Germany) a practice rare in Austria, and is prohibited from the Kabinett quality category and above.

sustainable viticulture
common term for environmentally friendly viticulture

Not to be confused with the more rigorous certified organic viticulture, see also integrated viticulture.

sweet

The taste category for wines with 45 g/l residual sugar and above.

sweet wine
common term for a wine with high residual sugar

These include the Prädikatsweine, or sweet wines, such as Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese or dessert wines.

sweetening

In order to give wine its desired residual sugar content, the producer is allowed to add concentrated grape must (in the form of concentrate) or rectified concentrated grape must (RCGM) to the grape must. Austrian Landwein (land wine) and Qualitätswein (quality wine) may admittedly be sweetened by a maximum of 15 g/l, yet this is prohibited from the Kabinett quality category and above.

Sylvaner
old European quality grape variety

A natural crossing of Traminer x Österreichisch-Weiß, that now has little significance in Austria, but is widespread in Germany, where it is called Silvaner. The wines are quite neutral and soft, yet make great food wines.

Synonym
describes a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another

Well-known synonyms in varieties are, for example, RivanerMüller Thurgau, Grauburgunder – Pinot Gris – Ruländer, Zierfandler – Spätrot, and so on.

Syrah

Syrah is at home in the south of France, in the winegrowing region of the Rhône valley, from where it then travelled the globe, arriving in Australia, where it is called Shiraz. The red wine variety became an officially classified Austrian quality grape variety in 2001. The wines display intensive and complex aromas of herbaceous elements, such as herbs, ivy and eucalyptus, along with pepper-pod spice, making them a perfect choice for maturation in small oak barrels with long-term aging potential.

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