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Südsteiermark DAC

The Südsteiermark is synonymous with fresh, aromatic white wines, particularly Sauvignon Blanc. There is, however adequate space on its 2,563 hectares of vineyard for a wealth of other varieties to flourish, ranging from Welschriesling to Morillon (Chardonnay) and Gelber Muskateller to Traminer. Here, in one of Europe’s most thrilling landscapes, grape growing is heavy labour due the nature of the terrain, in that most of the vineyards are planted on extremely steep inclines.

Map of Südsteiermark DAC
© ÖWM

The Wine

In the wide-ranging palette of regionally typical DAC wines, Sauvignon Blanc stands out as the most important variety on the regional, village and single-vineyard levels; about one fifth of the area cultivated in Südsteiermark is planted with this vine. Only a few regions around the world can showcase the potential of Sauvignon Blanc as impressively as the Südsteiermark does. Sauvignon Blancs that are typical for the Südsteiermark range from fragrant and refreshing examples to highly elegant wines of international depth and an unmistakable expression of terroir. Finely aromatic Gelber Muskateller is one of the other stars of the region, especially around Eichberg, Leutschach and Gamlitz. Riesling is the specialty at Kitzeck in the Sausal, where the steepest (with more than 45° incline) and highest-elevation (up to 600 metres above sea level) vineyards in the Steiermark are to be found. Friends of the Pinot family will find, among other wines of interest, substantial and robust Morillons (Chardonnays) grown in the limestone-rich soils around Ehrenhausen.

The Region

Nestled into a unique and inviting landscape, the 2,563 hectares of vineyards in the Südsteiermark bring forth complex and multi-layered wines. Picturesque hilly landscapes with some very steep slopes shape the topography of the region. For the most part, the vineyards lie on deep layers of marine sediments that were deposited millions of years ago. The soils are primarily composed of marls, but sands, conglomerates and gravel also occur. The prevailing climate is Illyrian with Mediterranean influence; it is humid & warm and encourages a long vegetation cycle. Together with cool nights, this contributes to the development of aromaticity, and thus causes the wines to gain in finesse.

Styrian carp and root vegetables with horseradish
© AWMB/Blickwerk Fotografie

Culinary Tip

Südsteiermark DAC wines are versatile dinner table companions. For regional specialties in the typical local wine tavern such as Backhendl or Styrian carp and root vegetables with horseradish, classic Sauvignon Blanc, Welschriesling, Weissburgunder and even Muskateller match perfectly, while Brathendl made from Sulmtal chicken goes beautifully with full-bodied Morillon. But you can also find wines from the Südsteiermark around the world on the wine lists of top international restaurants. The great Sauvignons especially prove their class and fine breeding there as a companion to various styles of cuisine, and this is equally true whether fish, vegetables or – in special combinations – even red meat form the basis.

A picture shows the system of origins in the Steiermark, depicted as a pyramid, © AWMB.
© AWMB

Südsteiermark DAC
as of vintage 2018

Grape varieties: Welschriesling, Weissburgunder, Morillon (Chardonnay), Grauburgunder, Riesling, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc & Traminer, as well as cuvées made from them

Levels:

Alcohol:

  • Not specified

Residual sugar:

Flavour profile:

  • Not specified

Labelling:

  • Südsteiermark DAC: indication of origin (including ‘DAC’) must appear on the primary label (the label showing all obligatory information) and the front label. Indication of the harvest year is obligatory.
  • Südsteiermark DAC: with indication of municipality: indication of origin (including ‘DAC’) und indication of municipality must appear on the primary label (the label showing all obligatory information) and the front label.
  • Südsteiermark DAC: with indication of vineyard: indication of origin (including ‘DAC’) and the name of the vineyard (Ried) must appear on the primary label (the label showing all obligatory information) and the front label.
  • Qualitätswein with regional indication of origin ‘Steiermark’ may show no more specific geographic attribution than ‘Steiermark’.

Focus varieties for Ortswein:

Link

Südsteiermark