The terms Traubenmost (grape must or partially fermented grape must), as well as Wein (Wine), Perlwein (sparkling wine, since perlend=bubbling) and Schaumwein (sparkling wine, since schäumend=foaming) are defined by EU law and further refined by Austrian national regulations as follows:
Grape must, derived exclusively from grapes that have been harvested and processed in Austria, may be offered on the market for immediate human consumption between 1 August and 31 December of the harvest year as Austrian grape must.
Partially fermented grape must may be offered on the market for immediate human consumption as “Sturm”, if it is derived exclusively from grapes that have been harvested and processed in Austria. Introduction to the market may take place between 1 August and 31 December of the respective vintage year, as long as the product is in a state of fermentation. Fermentation may, however, be retarded or interrupted during the course of production, then introduced once more before release to the consumer.
The term “Sturm” (Sturm=storm, takes its name from the stormy cloudiness of the still-fermenting beverage) is a traditional usage, and replaces the product description used in Community law, “Partially fermented grape must with Protected Geographical Indication” (plus geographical indication). Official areas of origin for “Sturm” are the winegrowing areas Weinland, Steiererland and Bergland.
The expression "Wein" (wine) identifies the product that has been obtained exclusively by means of complete or partial alcoholic fermentation of fresh as well as macerated wine grapes or grape must. Furthermore, according to quality level and place of origin, wine must exhibit a certain content of total acidity as well as minimum alcohol or total alcohol.
“Perlwein” is the product that is manufactured from wine, fermenting wine, grape must or partially fermented grape must, as long as this wine exhibits a total alcohol content of at least 9% by volume or an extant alcohol content of at least 7% by volume. Also, Perlwein – in a sealed container at 20°C – displays a pressure of at least 1 bar and a maximum of 2.5 bar ascribable to endogenous dissolved carbon dioxide, and is bottled or filled in a container with a maximum content of 60 litres.
The carbon dioxide contained in Perlwein can come from natural fermentation or could have been added (impregnation method). The latter is a special variant, and will be designated “Perlwein with added carbon dioxide”. This is a product that is obtained from wine and exhibits an extant alcohol content of at least 7% by volume and a total alcohol content of at least 9% by volume. Furthermore, “Perlwein with added carbon dioxide” – in a sealed container at 20°C – displays a pressure of dissolved carbon dioxide (totally or partially added) of at least 1 bar and a maximum of 2.5 bar, and is bottled or filled in a container with a maximum content of 60 litres.
The term “Schaumwein” designates the product that is obtained by means of primary or secondary alcoholic fermentation of fresh wine grapes, grape must or wine. This product is characterised by the escape of carbon dioxide – resulting exclusively from the fermentation – upon opening of the container, and in a sealed container at 20°C displays a pressure of at least 3 bar ascribable to dissolved carbon dioxide. Furthermore, the cuvée used in its production must have a total alcohol content of at least 8.5% by volume. The product “Schaumwein with added carbon dioxide” is produced from wine without Protected Designation of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication, and characterised by the escape of carbon dioxide that is totally or partially added (impregnation method), upon opening of the container.
Various methods are employed in the production of Schaumwein. In production by the “méthode rural” (Asti) as well as the “méthode ancestrale” (“pet nat”), there is only a single fermentation, where the carbon dioxide is captured during the fermentation and integrated into the wine. In the following methods, the carbon dioxide is created by means of a second fermentation: “méthode Charmat”, (large-container fermentation procedure or tank-fermentation procedure), the transfer method, and the “méthode traditionnelle” (this is also used in the French province of Champagne, where it is termed “méthode champenoise”).