Steiermark: the international breakthrough
The Steiermark’s three winegrowing regions in the south of Austria are idyllic to a degree matched by only a few other viticultural landscapes. They are just so picturesquely nestled in the rolling hills, winding roads and among the cozy Buschenschanken (wine taverns) that one could almost overlook the dramatic development that has taken place here in recent years. Driven by a thoroughly trained and highly motivated generation of young winegrowers, the Styrian wine industry has created distinctive wine styles from Sauvignon Blanc, Morillon (Chardonnay), Schilcher & Co, at a level of quality that has never before been so high.
This meteoric development has not gone unnoticed by the international experts. On 16 October the Wine Spectator dedicated an expansive article to the Steiermark, in which author Aleks Zecevic underscored the remarkable advances in quality and outstanding distinctiveness of Styrian wines, praising the Steiermark as Austria's hidden gem.
On the same day, the Steiermark master class organised by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) in New York City welcomed a full house: sixty-five participants – including key players from the hospitality industry, trade and press – gathered in the seminar room at Le Bernardin, filling every available seat, with all participants greatly impressed by the wines presented.
Two weeks later, Stephan Reinhardt of The Wine Advocatepublished his most recent Steiermark reviews, which gave great cause for celebration: out of the 214 wines tasted, 154 achieved at least 90 points, and no fewer than twenty-six were scored 95 or greater.
In recent years, wines of the Steiermark have already been causing a sensation on the international stage: at the ConcoursMondial du Sauvignon, one of the most prestigious white wine competitions in the world, winegrowers from the Südsteiermark were able to win awards for the best Sauvignon Blanc in a category in 2016 and 2019, while in 2017 and 2018 they even claimed the best wine of the entire competition!
Willi Klinger, managing director of the AWMB comments, with obvious enthusiasm: ‘We in Austria have long been aware that the Steiermark is a world-class destination for elite white wines. Now, these inimitable wines are no longer an insider tip, but have become a must-have – and that’s a good thing: over the past twenty years, the area under vines in the Steiermark has increased by some thirty per cent. The excellent wines that are produced there will be finding their way all over the world’.
Links & Downloads
Press photo (JPG)
Article in The Wine Spectator: ‘Exploring Styria: Austria's Hidden Gem’
Article and wine ratings in the Wine Advocate: ‘Austria: Styria’s Great 2017s and First 2018s’ (only available to subscribers)
AWMB master class in New York City: photo gallery
Austrian Wine Marketing Board
Ms Sabine Bauer-Wolf
Head of Communications
Mr Georg Schullian
Teamleader Press, PR & Corporate Design