Austrian wine law is based on European wine legislation. However, Austria has maintained its autonomy to a certain degree, upheld by its controlled origin, its legal maximum yield, a designation for quality wine, as well as an official quality control of wine. Austrian wines are either wines with origin (Quality Wine, DAC, Landwein) or generic wines from Austria. The categories are defined by the origin of the grapes and the sugar content of the must, as expressed by the Klosterneuburg Must Weight (KMW) scale
The grapes for quality wine or region-typical quality wine (DAC) must grow in an Austrian wine-growing region. Landwein, or land wine, generally comes from the larger wine-growing area. The wine label must contain the following information; origin, variety, vintage, quality designation, alcohol content by volume, reference to its residual sugars (i.e. dry, etc), as well as the official State control number and name of the producer or bottler. The Austrian wine law defines a maximum yield of 9,000 kg of grapes or 6,750 litres of wine per hectare for Landwein (land wine), Qualitätswein (quality wine) and Prädikatswein (classed quality wines). If the yield is larger, then the total volume must be declassified as a wine without origin. Such examples may only be sold without any reference to their origin, variety or vintage. Wine without protected geographical indication may only be sold if there is no declaration of origin, variety or vintage on the wine label. (If wine without defined origin has a declaration of variety and vintage, it must fulfil the requirements for Landwein (land wine).