Wine production in Austria is not only found in the wine-growing areas of "Weinland" (to include Niederösterreich, Burgenland and Wien) and "Steirerland" (Steiermark), but also in every other federal state. These are included in the wine-growing area of "Bergland".
There were once extensive vineyards throughout Bergland, and viticulture in Oberösterreich (Upper Austria) was at its golden age peak between the 14th and 16th Century. This was, however, followed by a boom of brewing, due largely to a change in the climatic changes, with less sunlight and what is now considered a mini "Ice Age", so that the wine industry in the Bergland region today gradually decreased and virtually came to a complete standstill in the 19th Century. It is therefore exciting to see the Renaissance of vineyards appearing, especially those in Kärnten (Carinthia).
Carinthia - 123 ha
In recent years, the area under vine in this region has increased to around 123 hectares. The key wine-growing areas in Kärnten are concentrated around the regions of Feldkirchen and St. Veit, home to the Längsee lake and Hochosterwitz Castle, in the Lavant valley and around the city of Klagenfurt. The predominant grapes here are white Pinot varieties, although Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Traminer are also grown – as well as Zweigelt and Pinot Noir. Kärnten wines are aiming to become the beverage of choice among tourists visiting Carinthia, and they certainly have the potential to achieve this goal. Since 2013, wines from Kärnten have regularly won awards at the annual SALON Austrian Wine competition.
Upper Austria - 78 ha
Many of the names given to villages, houses and land in Oberösterreich are testimony to the former importance of viticulture for the local economy. After the decline of the wine industry in the 19th century, the state – the former “Principality above the Enns river” – is now witnessing somewhat of a renaissance. Today, around 78 hectares of vineyards are cultivated in the sun-blessed parts of the Danube valley, the Machland, on the Gaumberg (Linz) and around the rim of the Eferding Basin, as well as in the central parts of Oberösterreich, the hilly Innviertel region and the breezy Mühlviertel region. Vines are even grown in the southern part of the Salzkammergut region today! The prominent white varieties are Grüner Veltliner and Chardonnay, while Zweigelt mainly represents the reds.
The first of today’s vineyards in the Salzburg region were planted in Großgmain am Untersberg in 2001. Since 2008, the “Paris Lodron Zwinger”, a wine from the Frühroter Veltliner grape, has been grown on the Mönchsberg mountain that overlooks the city of Salzburg. It produces around 500 bottles a year, with all proceeds being donated to the Salzburg Scouts. The Benedictine Michaelbeuern Abbey has also launched a viticultural project that involves the cultivation of 4,000 vines.
Tyrol - 14 ha
While viticulture is of great significance in South Tyrol, viticulture in North Tyrol was long asleep. Even the vineyard in Zirl, whose reputation stretches as far back as the 14th century, is no longer cultivated. The North Tyrolean wine industry is, however, showing signs of resurrection. The most well-known wineries in operation are found in Haiming and Tarrenz. Here, Pinot varieties are the most widely planted grapes, especially Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They even have their own web site. www.tirolwein.at
There were once 500 hectares of vines in the federal state of Vorarlberg, predominantly in Walgau and the Alpine Rhine valley. The aftermath of the grape vine louse crisis, combined with competition from the wines of South Tyrol following the completion of the Arlberg railway, led to the near total demise of wine production here, save for a single vineyard in Röthis. In 1997, the Vorarlberg Winegrowers’ Association was founded, which has been promoting Vorarlberg's viticulture ever since. In this region, Müller-Thurgau, Riesling and classic Pinot varieties claim pride of place among the white wines, while Pinot Noir is the preferred red wine variety.
Official website Oberösterreich