Wine production in Austria is not only found in the wine-growing areas of "WEINLAND" (to include Niederösterreich, Burgenland and Wien/Vienna) 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).
Kärnten (Carinthia - 215 ha)
In recent years the area under vines has grown to some 170 hectares. The centres of viticulture in Kärnten (Carinthia) focus on the Längsee (Lake Läng) and the area around Hochosterwitz Castle in the district of Sankt Veit, the Lavant Valley, the district of Feldkirchen and the environs of Klagenfurt. Here it is the white members of the Pinot family that predominate; additionally one finds Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Traminer planted, as well as Zweigelt and Blauer Burgunder. The wines of Kärnten are being positioned as the go-to beverage for tourism in the region, demonstrating rather promising potential. Since 2013 the wines of Carinthia have regularly shown very well in the SALON Austrian Wine.
Oberösterreich (Upper Austria - 73 ha)
A wide variety of local, domestic and field names throughout the federal state bear witness to the fact that viticulture was once a relevant economic factor in Oberösterreich (Upper Austria). After the decline in the 19th century, the land above the Enns River is now enjoying something of a renaissance; today one finds some forty-five hectares here under the vine. The sunny environs of the Danube River Valley, the Machland, the Linzer Gaumberg and the borders of the Eferdinger Basin are now supporting viticulture, as are the midsection of Oberösterreich, the hilly central district and the breezy vineyards of the Mühlviertel. Even in the southern part of the Salzkammergut, wine is being produced once more! Viticulture is focussed upon white types Grüner Veltliner and Chardonnay, as well as Zweigelt and Roesler for the reds.
The year 2001 marked the planting of the first vineyards in modern times in Salzburg, on the Grossgmain am Untersberg. Since 2008, Frühroter Veltliner grapevines have been cultivated in the Paris Lodron compound on the famous Mönchsberg mountain that overlooks the city of Salzburg. The production is about 500 bottles a year and it sells for 40 Euros a bottle, with all proceeds being donated to the Salzburg Scouts. The Benedictine abbey Michaelbeuern has also launched a viticultural project encompassing 4,000 vines.
Tirol (Tyrol - 12 ha)
While the wine industry in Südtirol (South Tyrol, a.k.a. Alto Adige) remains of great significance, the Winegrowers’ Association of North Tyrol has just two dozen members today. Even the well-known vineyard of Zirl, famous since the 14th Century, currently remains uncultivated. But now one can see new signs of life from viticulture in Tirol, with the most active estates in Haiming, Tarrenz and Silz. Here members of the Pinot family are the most widely planted, especially Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They even have their own web site. www.tirolwein.at
Vorarlberg (5 ha)
There were once 500 hectares of vines growing in the federal state of Vorarlberg, predominantly in Walgau and the Rheintal (Rhine Valley). The aftermath of phylloxera – combined with competition from the wines of the Südtirol following the completion of the Arlberg railway – led to the nearly total demise of wine production here, save for a single vineyard in Röthis. Here in the vineyards Müller-Thurgau, Riesling and the classic Pinot varieties claim pride of place among the whites, while Blauer Burgunder (Pinot Noir) is the preferred red wine variety.