“DAC” stands for “Districtus Austriae Controllatus” and is the legal abbreviation for special region-typical quality wines. Thus, if a label states the winegrowing region followed by the letter combination DAC (e.g. Kamptal DAC) we are talking about a region-typical quality wine.
More precisely: In theory an Austrian winegrower is permitted to produce quality wine from 40 quality grape varieties. De facto, winegrowers cultivate varieties which are best suited for their vineyards and region. The decision which varieties are planted follows viticultural as well as marketing criteria. Thus, you won't find Schilcher along the Danube or Grüner Veltliner in Styria as the variety does not display regional characteristics. Although wine is grown in all federal states of Austria, winegrowing plays a major role in only four of them: Lower Austria, Burgenland, Styria and Vienna. Within these four major winegrowing areas 18 specific winegrowing regions have been designated. These regions make great efforts to take hold on the national and international wine market by promoting their top-quality specialties. Until October 2020, 16 regions have decided to market only one or a few particularly region- typical wines under the name of the region while the labels of all other wines contain the name of the winery and the federal state. Following the example of worldwide famous wines of origin (e.g. Barolo in Italy, Chablis in France or Rioja in Spain) typical wines of origin of these regions state the name of the region on the label followed by the three letters DAC (e.g. Weinviertel DAC or Leithaberg DAC ).