Wine with protected designation of origin

A picture shows the logo of PDO

(German g.U.; English PDO=Protected Designation of Origin, French AOP=Appellation d'Origine Protégée, Italian Denominazione di Origine Protetta) Protected designation of origin and protected geographical indication are established and confirmed by the member countries and reported to Brussels. They are, therefore, guaranteed also by EU law.

A picture shows the Banderole
© AWMB Official seal (banderole) on the capsule of Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine).

Qualitätswein (Quality wine)

Wine may be offered on the market with the designation “Qualitätswein”, when:

  1. it is produced exclusively from grapes, which have been harvested in a single winegrowing region, and production takes place in the winegrowing area of said winegrowing region or in a winegrowing area bordering on it
  2. it is produced exclusively from grape varieties approved for the production of Qualitätswein
  3. the juice of the grapes has a minimum must weight of 15°KMW
  4. it exhibits the characteristics typical and appropriate to the designation, and meets the minimum requirements for being awarded a government inspection number during sensorial examination
  5. extant alcohol meets the minimum of 9.0% by volume – for Prädikatswein a minimum of 5.0% alcohol by volume
  6. the total acidity, figured as tartaric acid, amounts to a minimum of 4 g/l
  7. the maximum yield per hectare is not exceeded (6,750 l/ha or 9,000 kg grapes/ha)
  8. it is free of defects in appearance, smell and flavour

Furthermore, Qualitätswein may be distributed to the consumer within and outside of Austria only after it has been inspected and approved by the government tasting authority. The Prüfnummer (government inspection number) is to be stated on the label.

Kabinett

Qualitätswein may be presented for sale under the designation “Kabinett” or “Kabinettwein” when:

  1. the juice of the grapes achieves a minimum must weight of 17 °KMW
  2. the wine has not been chaptalised
  3. the content of unfermented sugar is 9 g/l maximum
  4. potential alcohol content amounts to 13 % maximum
  5. no sweetening of the wine has taken place.

Regionally typical Qualitätswein (DAC)

Qualitätswein may be offered on the market under the designation “Districtus Austriae Controllatus“ or “DAC”, when it additionally meets the requirements established via decree by the abovementioned minister (upon request made by the national committee), according to established requirements for regionally typical Qualitätswein with profiles of origin. The designation “Districtus Austriae Controllatus“ or “DACmust be indicated in connexion with the individual region in question. This geographical indication may only be used in connexion with the designation “Districtus Austriae Controllatus“ or “DAC”, and used when meeting the relevant conditions. The designation used together with the name of a more detailed geographic entity than the winegrowing region is permitted. Specifications relevant to the individual DAC regions can be found here.

Prädikatswein

In Austria, the superordinate category Qualitätswein includes Prädikatswein. These are Qualitätswein produced according to specific levels of ripeness and/or methods of harvesting/processing. They can be referred to both generically (e.g. Burgenland), as well as to a specific winegrowing region origin (e.g. Wachau), as long as the winegrowing region specified has no DAC Qualitätswein established for other styles of wine.It could be conceivable that DAC status could be established for a region particularly suited for the production of Prädikatswein. The hierarchy of Prädikatswein – which makes diverse distinctions between wines with high natural sugar content – and according to specific techniques of harvest or processing – is a special aspect of German and Austrian wine law. For a wine to be declared as a Prädikatswein, in addition to the fulfillment of the following criteria, a wine inspection certificate has to be issued (the so-called Mostwägerbescheiningung), confirming the quality of the harvested grapes. The grapes must not be chaptalised and the residual sugar must be attained by the (natural or premature) interruption of the fermentation (and not by the addition of unfermented grape must).

Categories of Prädikatswein (Sweet Wine)

Spätlese
  • perfectly ripe grapes
  • minimum must weight of 19 °KMW (94.2 °Ö)
  • The wines may not be submitted to the Prüfnummer tasting commission before 1 January in the year following the harvest.
Auslese
  • selection of grapes (removal of those that are not fully ripe, or that are spoiled/diseased)
  • minimum must weight of 21 °KMW (105 °Ö)
  • The wines may not be submitted to the Prüfnummer tasting commission before 1 January in the year following the harvest.
Beerenauslese
  • wine from overripe and Botrytis-affected grapes
  • minimum must weight 25 °KMW (127.3 °Ö)
  • The wines may not be submitted to the Prüfnummer tasting commission before 1 April in the year following the harvest.
Eiswein
  • wine produced from grapes that were harvested while solidly  frozen, and pressed while still frozen
  • minimum must weight 25 °KMW (127.3 °Ö)
  • The wines may not be submitted to the Prüfnummer tasting commission before 1 April in the year following the harvest.
Strohwein/Schilfwein
  • wine produced from fully ripe and sugar-rich grapes that were dried on mats of reed or straw – or hung – for a minimum of three months prior to vinification (subject to level of ripeness, °KMW)
  • minimum must weight 25 °KMW (127.3 °Ö)
  • The wines may not be submitted to the Prüfnummer tasting commission before 1 April in the year following the harvest.
Trockenbeerenauslese
  • wine produced from late-harvested grapes predominately affected by Botrytis and extremely shrivelled
  • minimum must weight of 30 °KMW (156 °Ö)
  • The wines may not be submitted to the Prüfnummer tasting commission before 1 April in the year following the harvest.
  • For Trockenbeerenauslesen produced in the Free City of Rust, the term Ausbruch may be used; use of the term Ausbruch may only be used in connexion with the geographical indication ‘Rust’.
    • wine produced from mostly botrytised and over-ripe, naturally dried out and shrivelled grapes
    • in order to obtain more effective lixiviation of the natural sugar content, freshly fermented grape juice or wine of the grades Spätlese, Auslese or Beerenauslese, harvested from the same vineyard, may be added to the harvested grapes; the juice obtained thereby must meet a minimum required must weight of 30 °KMW.

Austrian Sekt g.U. (PDO)

Find all information regarding Austrian Sekt with Protected Designation of Origin here.