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.

vacuum evaporation
a method of concentrating must

This is a wine-making operation used to increase the concentration of the must, whereby water and grape juice is drawn out of the must. In a vacuum, water begins to evapourate at 25 °C to 30 °C, without having any negative effect on the aromas of the finished wine. This form of concentration (reverse osmosis) has been permitted in the EU for a number of years, and is already a practice employed in Austria as an alternative to chaptalization in red wine production. Vacuum evapouration is also a process used for the production of alcohol-free wine.

vanilla
sweet and spicy aroma and taste impression

An aroma usually related to oak barrel maturation.

varietal aromas
The virtues of wine, and the aromas that are reminiscent of varietal character.

e.g. stone fruit bouquet for Riesling, the rose petal fragrance in Traminer

vat
oak vat or cask

Alarge open-topped oak vessel or vat, usually used for red wine fermentation.

vegan

According to Austrian Wine Law, the indication ‘suitable for vegans’ or reference to belonging to a relevant association are permitted if no animal products (egg, milk, casein) have been used in production. The indication ‘vegan’ in connexion with the sales description or a ‘traditional’ representation (for example, ‘young vegan’) is not permitted.

velvety

A description of red wine with a soft, supple taste with harmonious tannins.

verjuice
the unfermented juice from harvested, yet unripe grapes, is known as Verjuice (or green juice)

Is used to carry the acidity in an array of recipies, a natural remedy, and is enjoying a revival as an alternative to vinegar.

vermouth

Refers to an aromatised wine with the bitter oil of the vermouth plant, often used as an aperitif.

vertical tasting
method of analysing and assessing wine, purely on the basis of using our perception of colour, aroma and taste

There are the following types of tastings, blind tastings, vertical tastings (different vintages from one wine), commented tastings, tastings where wine are rated in a competition, a wine quiz, and so on.

vine

The vine refers to both the scion, that is above ground (European quality variety), and the rootstock. Only the one year old vine wood can produce grapes. Older vines that give a lower yield, but guarantee a higher quality are particularly favoured.

vine breeding
The determined manipulation into the nature of a vine and intervening to result in reproduction.

Crossings always result in new cultivated vines.

vine density
the number of vines planted within a defined vineyard surface area

In Austria, the vine density is usually about 5,000 vines per hectare.

vine diseases

Vine illnesses and diseases, as well as the negative effects of pests, can be caused by a fungus (downy and powdery mildrew, botrytis, rotbrenner and esca), viruses (stunted growth, leaf roll), bacteria (crown gall), grapevine pest (phylloxera, the grape caterpillar) or nutrient difficiency (chlorosis, bunch stem necrosis).

vine rows

The structure of the rows of vines in the vineyard.

Vine training system
training system for vines in the vineyard

The type of vine training system that is widespread in Austria, using wires. One particular wire system is Lenz Moser‘s Hochkultur, or high culture training system, that replaced the widespread cultivation of Gobelet or bush vine training.

Vinea Wachau
Quality orientated vintner association in the Wachau winegrowing region, established in 1983.

The original name is "Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus“, and is a quality-orientated association. Its creators established the three wine categories for its members, Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd. The Codex Wachau is a clear acknowledgement  to the natural production of wine and commitment to strict quality control.

vineyard site
defined or enclosed vineyard area

Refers to a defined or marked-out vineyard area or site, that contains the same geographical, soil and climatic conditions. Also called a single vineyard.

vineyard(s)
refers to a defined vineyard area with the same geographical aspects, soil structure and microclimate, and sometimes known as a single vineyard site
vinification
The wine-making operation from the reception of the grapes to the bottling of the finished wine.

The term describes the complete steps in the process of winemaking.