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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.

Definition:winegrowing region

The narrow Danube valley between Melk and Krems is also a World Heritage Site. The 1,350 hectares of vineyards - mostly on steep terraces - feature mainly Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. Read more

Definition:winegrowing region

This loess-rich winegrowing region, with approx. 2,450 hectares, is divided into two zones. North of the Danube, the Wagram is the mecca of loess vineyards ideally suited for refined Grünen Veltliners. Read more

Wagram DAC

The variety of grapes typical of the region comprises 13 white and red grape varieties, which have been marketed under the designation "Wagram DAC" since the 2021 vintage. Read more

Wagramer Selektion
Definition:the name of a Vintner Association

Quality-orientated association and brand association in Wagram, as well as being the members' own seal of approval for their best wine produced to strict criteria.

Weingut (Wine Estate, Winery)

The term »Weingut« (wine estate) is reserved for establishments that exclusively process grapes from their own vineyards, or grapes from parcels under management contracts, provided that the area of these does not exceed the area under vines in direct possession.

Weingüter Wagram
Definition:the name of a Vintner Association

Winemakers' association in the winegrowing region of Wagram that focus on the leading Grüner Veltliner and speciality Roter Veltliner varieties. The best Grüner Veltiner produced by each wine estate is known as the WW1.


Refers to the winegrowing region that include the Federal states of Niederösterreich, Burgenland and Wien  (Lower Austria, Burgenland and Vienna respectively).

Definition:winegrowing region

The Weinviertel is Austria’s largest specified winegrowing region. It has a wide range of grape varieties. But its main ingredient for success is Grüner Veltliner, especially when it reveals its typical “peppery” character. Read more

Weinviertel DAC

The regional typical Grüner Veltliner from the Weinviertel was the first winegrowing region to take the DAC designation, effective from the 2002 vintage. From the 2009 vintage, alongside the Klassik category, there is also the Reserve category.

Definition:a Pinot grape 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.


an old, rarely used synonym for Grüner Veltliner

Definition:white wine variety

The Welschriesling is a very versatile, diverse variety. From the base wine for sparkling wines from the northern Weinviertel, to dry, lively young wines (e.g. in the Steiermark), to the high quality, nobly sweet Trockenbeerenauslese wines from Burgenland. The vibrant, drinking wines have dominant citrus and apple notes, over delicate spice; and the high quality sweet wines beguile with soft, creamy aromas and perfect balance of acidity and noble sweetness.

Definition:winegrowing region

In the romantic Weststeiermark approx. 500 hectares vine are dedicated to the Blauer Wildbacher variety, from which one of the most unique terroir wines is produced: SchilcherRead more

Weststeiermark DAC

In 2018, a three-tier DAC system was implemented in the winegrowing region of Weststeiermark, featuring Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (local or "villages" wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine). The varieties Blauer Wildbacher (as Schilcher), Welschriesling, Weißburgunder, Morillon, Grauburgunder, Riesling, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc and Traminer form the base with the varietal range narrowing on the Ortswein and Riedenwein level. Read more

white pressed wines

If the black grapes, or red wine varieties, are pressed relatively quickly, giving a must with minimal colour and extract. The light, white-pressed wines (also known as blanc de noirs) are significant for the production of sparking wines.

white wine

Refers to the wines made from green, yellow, grey or red-tinged grapes, and the grapes spend only a short time in contact on the skins during vinification. Austria is an ideal white wine producing country, with its hot summers, warm days and cool nights.

White Wine Spritz
Definition:refreshing drink of equal measure of wine and mineral or soda water

The Gespritzter or “G´spritzter“ is a quaffable, thirst-quenching Austrian White Wine Spritz, wine mixed with an equal measure of soda or sparkling mineral water, that is particularly favoured in the warm summer months. Due to its generally low alcohol content, the Gespritzter is an ideal aperitiv or easy drinking wine to pair with food. The mixture is generally 50/50, with the Sommerg´spritzter being prepared with a larger proportion of water.

white wine spritzer

The Styrian name for a white wine spritz, or a mixture of wine and mineral water. see also G‘spritzer.

whole bunch pressing
Definition:production method

This is the most gentle form of pressing the wines, and healthy grapes are carefully pressed in a (pneumatic) press without crushing or destemming. The result is a high quality fruity must that is low in phenolics.

Definition:winegrowing region

With approx. 600 hectares of vineyards within the city limits, wine plays an important economic role in the Austrian capital. The excellent range of wines here include Grünen Veltliner and delicious red wines as well. Read more

Definition:the name of a Vintner Association

A collaborating group of winemakers from leading Viennese producers, who are committed to continued high quality, especially for the Gemischte Satz, or field blend.

wild vines

The diverse subspecies of grape vines varieties, (particularly Vitis vinifera silvestris).

Definition:the pink or onion coloured wine, that is made entirely 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.

wind wheel
Definition:typical landmark and touristic attraction in the Steiermark

Wind wheel that makes a loud noise when activated, to act as a bird scarer when the grapes are ripe in the vineyards. A typical landmark and tourist attraction in the Steiermark.

wine bottle opener
Definition:a device used to extract the cork from the wine bottle

The equipment used to remove the cork out of a wine bottle, and there is a wide range of various models available.

wine brand

Refers to a wine that is marketed in a large quantity and fulfils the criteria for a wine brand.

wine brand
Definition:refers to a wine that is marketed in a large quantity and fulfils the criteria for a wine brand

The taste of these wines are generally stable, without vintage variation, and are produced to fulfil a certain price bracket, along with other criteria.

wine brandy

A quality spirit that contains at least 38% alcohol by volume, and is produced by distilling grape marc.

wine cellar

Mostly subterrenean room used for the storage of wine.

wine compounds

The total of all non-volative solids in the wine, including sugar, colour, tannin, acidity, traces of minerals, protein, and glycerine. If the sugars were to be removed, we call this the sugar-free extract of the wine. The value is always given in grams per litre (g/l).

wine cooperative

Cooperative of vintners (according to Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen's concept) that deliver grapes, vinify, market and sell wine at one single winery, or wine-making facility. Wine cooperatives are regarded as cooperative producers. Leading Austrian cooperatives include the Domäne Wachau, Winzer Krems, Winzergenossenschaft Andau/Tadten, Winzerkeller Neckenmarkt as well as the Vereinte Winzer Blaufränkischland.

wine diseases
Definition:a wine disease describes a fault, that is caused by a micro organism

This is often caused by insufficient hygiene or lack of knowledge. The most common wine diseases are harshness, volatile acidity, acetone (smell of glue), brettanomyces (sweaty saddle, farmyard smell) or lactic acid.

Wine Estate

Domaine is also a term used in Austria, coming from the French and German words.

wine fault

A wine fault is defined as being caused by external factors that have a negative influence on the wine. Often uncleanliness or mistakes in wine-making operations can be the cause. Other faults include cork taint, mustiness, hydrogen sulphur, volatile acidity, premature aging and oxidation, taste of wet cardboard, astringency and medicinal note, amongst others. We generally regard a fault caused by micro organisms as a wine disease.

wine glass

Wine glasses should ideally be tulip-shaped, clear, colourless and with thin glass and a relatively long stem, with which to hold the glass, as well as a sufficient capacity to swirl the wine and allow the aromas to evolve. Ideally, a white wine is filled to the halfway measure of the glass, and the red wine to a third.

wine grape variety (varieties)

There are eleven ampelography groups sigificant in the Vitis vinifera subspecies. The main differences are between early and late ripening varieties. There are also categories for indigenous and international varieties. In Austria, the following grapes varietes are classified for the production of Qualitätswein (quality wine). White wine varieties: Blütenmuskateller, Bouvier, Chardonnay (Morillon), Frühroter Veltliner (Malvasier), Furmint, Goldburger, Goldmuskateller (Moscato Giallo), Grauer Burgunder (Pinot Gris, Ruländer), Grüner Veltliner (Weißgipfler), Jubiläumsrebe, Müller-Thurgau (Rivaner), Muscaris, Muskateller (Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, Gelber Muskateller, Roter Muskateller), Muskat-Ottonel, Neuburger, Roter Veltliner, Rotgipfler, Sauvignon Blanc, Scheurebe (Sämling 88),Souvignier Gris, Sylvaner (Grüner Sylvaner), Traminer (Gewürztraminer, Roter Traminer), Weißer Burgunder (Weißburgunder, Pinot Blanc, Klevner), Weißer Riesling (Riesling, Rheinriesling), Welschriesling and Zierfandler (Spätrot). The red wine varieties are: Blauburger, Blauer Burgunder (Blauer Spätburgunder, Blauburgunder, Pinot Noir), Blauer Portugieser, Blauer Wildbacher, Blaufränkisch, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rathay, Roesler, Rosenmuskateller, Sankt Laurent, Syrah and Zweigelt (Blauer Zweigelt, Rotburger).

wine guild, wine society

Amateur society of wine enthusiasts sharing the aim and purpose of improving their wine knowledge and pleasure.

wine inspection

In Austria, the inspection of wine is undertaken by the Federal winery inspectors, aided by the designated inspectors, or to use their German name, the "Mostwäger". The Federal winery inspectors (Bundeskellereiinspektoren or BKI) supervisory board reports directly to the Ministry of Agriculture. They supervise the sale and distribution of wine, the entire vinification process and take samples. The main focus of their activities occurs during the main harvest, when they inspect the must weight, but also advise and consult wineries.

wine judgement

The Roman formula for tasting is known as COS (colour-odour-sapour), referring to the colour, aroma and taste of wine. Today wines are still tasted in this method. In many cases, we also find rating systems that make it easy to compare the visual quality of wines. The 20 point rating system used to be popular, yet an increasing number of magazines and wine journalists are using the 100 point system. See also degustation and tasting.

wine knights

The European Weinritterschaft (Ordo Equestris Vini Europae), or wine knights, is a union of confederates and are committed to, for example, wine culture, the appreciation of wine, and wine knowledge, and organise a wide range of activities and events.

wine label
Definition:description on the bottle

The wine label is the producer‘s business card. The following terms must be legally visible on Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine): Producer/Bottler/Distributor, Origin (winegrowing region), Austria (or Österreich), Quality level (e.g. Qualitätswein), Federal Inspection Number, alcohol level, residual sugar classification (e.g. dry (trocken), medium dry (halbtrocken), medium sweet (lieblich), sweet (süß)), the volume of the bottle, along with the term ‘contains sulfites‘ (enthält Sulfite). Qualitätswein additionally has the highly visible red-white-red banderole on the capsule or screwcap closure.

Wine law

The Austrian Wine Law was last amended in 2009, and is incorporated into EU wine legislation. The EU wine industry body defines a number of requirements and strict quality contol assessments, that Austria as a member state, must adhere to in its production of quality wine and its supervision. The Austrian wine law is subdivided into the categories of wine, fruit wine, quality control, sanctions, support and grants, as well as provisional and final regulations. The part relevant to wine includes production guidelines, marketing, description and packaging, wording and term definitions, geographic indications, yield restrictions, the Federal Inspection Number, the banderole (quality wine control seal), and so on.

wine press
Definition:a piece of equipment used to crush or press the grapes or must

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

wine press
Definition:Ein Gerät zum Ausquetschen oder Auspressen von Weintrauben oder Maische.

The wine press is used for crushing or pressing the grapes or must. Nowadays, wines is pressed gently with pneumatic presses in the tube or bladder, as well as the scattered use of the hydraulic horizontal press. The Torculum or Roman presses only have historical significance. The traditional basket presses and screw presses are seldom in Austrian viticulure.

wine rating

The Roman formula for tasting is known as COS (colour-odour-sapour), referring to the colour, aroma and taste of wine. Today wines are still tasted in this method. In many cases, we also find rating systems that make it easy to compare the visual quality of wines. The 20 point rating system used to be popular, yet an increasing number of magazines and wine journalists are using the 100 point system. See also degustation and tasting.

wine ratings

The Roman formula for tasting is known as COS (colour-odour-sapour), referring to the colour, aroma and taste of wine. Today wines are still tasted in this method. In many cases, we also find rating systems that make it easy to compare the visual quality of wines. The 20 point rating system used to be popular, yet an increasing number of magazines and wine journalists are using the 100 point system. See also degustation and tasting.

wine routes
Definition:infrastructure organised by local tourism or vintner associations

Idyllic wine roads, or routes for wine enthusiasts, that are found in all winegrowing regions, and specially signposted, and marked out with special symbols, guiding visitors to the wine experience. Examples are the südsteirische Weinstraße in the Südsteiermark, and the Schilcherweinstraße in the Weststeiermark.

Wine scandal

The Austrian wine industry was disrupted as a result of the widely publicised diethylene glycol wine scandal in 1985. The consequence was the introduction of the most strict wine law in the world, with an uncomprimised push into producing quality wines, effectively the Austrian "Weinwunder“, or miracle. Other countries often had instances of wine adulteration by rogue producers, whose activities led to a wine scandal. An important reaction is to invest in wine inspections.

wine sensory analysis
Definition:the sensory analysis is the term used to describe the total impression and sensory perception of a wine

In wine sensory analysis, the senses of sight, smell and taste play a central role.

wine syphon
Definition:cylindrical piece of equipment used to take a sample out of a fermenting or maturation vat

The wine syphon is usually made of glass or plastic, and the wine is siphoned or sucked out. An alternative is the pipette.

wine-growing areas

Landwein (wine with Geographical Indication) is obliged to indicate a wine-growing area as its origin. The following areas are protected for this cause: Weinland (referring to the Federal States of Lower Austria, Burgenland and Vienna), Steirerland (the Federal State of Styria) and Bergland (Federal States of Upper Austria, Salzburg, Carinthia, Tyrol and Vorarlberg).

wine-growing regions

Austria currently has 17 specified wine-growing regions and four generic wine-growing regions. The generic regions are Niederösterreich (Lower Austria), Burgenland, Steiermark (Styria) and Wien (Vienna).

The 17 specific wine-growing regions are Wachau, Kremstal, Kamptal, Wagram, Traisental, Weinviertel, Thermenregion, Carnuntum, Neusiedlersee, Leithaberg, Rosalia, Mittelburgenland, Eisenberg, Weststeiermark, Südsteiermark, Vulkanland Steiermark and (again) Wien.

wine-growing zones

The term for the viticultural or wine-growing zones, as defined by the EU, which divide the European wine-growing regions up into zones, to regulate certain aspects of winemaking relating to their respective climates. Wine-growing zone A includes the northern wine-growing regions, zone B is the temperate climate that includes Austria and Zone C refers to the most southerly zone.

wine-making grape variety

the cultivated grape variety for wine-making, as opposed to table grapes for eating.

winegrower's Sekt
Definition:producer's sparkling wine

Nowadays a rare term for Austrian quality sparkling wine from a winegrowing region. This description may only be used when the grapes were grown by the producer, the second fermentation occurred in the bottle, and the variety and vintage is clearly visable on the label. This is a protected description for Austrian Sekt and is the same as German Sekt or sparkling wine.

winegrowers association

Regional associations of wine producers that occur in all of the winegrowing regions, and acts as a basis for organisation and officially acknowledged form of self organisation for the vintners.


Specialised qualification in winemaking held by the winery director. The original Austrian words are "Weinbau- und Kellermeister“, literally viticulture and cellar master.

Definition:place of vinification

Mostly subterrenean room used for the storage of wine.

Definition:place of vinification

Mostly subterrenean room used for the storage of wine.


The material used in the construction of wine barrels.