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Description to Lower Austria/Niederösterreich

The federal state of Lower Austria with its capital St. Pölten (until then Vienna), elected by popular vote since 1986, is located in the east of Austria. With an area of around 19,200 km², it is the largest federal state. It surrounds the Austrian capital Vienna, borders the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia to the north-east, Burgenland to the south-east, Styria to the south and Upper Austria to the west.

Niederösterreich - Gumpoldskirchen, Stillfried und Dürnstein

History

Even before the soldiers of Emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus (232-282) brought wine presses to the Danube, the indigenous people pressed the so-called Marcomanni wine. The municipality of Stillfried an der March in the Weinviertel is one of the most important archaeological sites in Austria and, along with Zagersdorf in Burgenland, is considered the oldest wine-growing village in Central Europe. Some of the most important finds are on display in the Stillfried Museum. These include "Stillfried Cup", a bronze drinking vessel and grape seeds of a Vitis vinifera from around 900 B.C. At this time the Celts settled in this area, who already practised viticulture and used wooden barrels to transport wine.

Viticulture was strongly influenced by Vienna, the monastery Klosterneuburg, and the monasteries of Göttweig in the Kremstal and Melk in the Wachau, founded by the Roman Catholic order of Benedictines. These were centres of spiritual and cultural life and also strongholds of exemplary wine culture. The former Dinstlgut in Loiben (Wachau), which has been abandoned in the meantime and whose origins date back to the 9th century, also had a great influence. The noble Liechtenstein family was founded in the 13th century. Large areas of vineyards were acquired and progressive viticultural methods were introduced. In 1636, a cellar regulation was issued, in which, among other things, the "Zuberaithung von Schwebl"(sul phur) was precisely regulated. The winery Hofkellerei Stiftung Fürst Liechtenstein still exists today.

Climate & Soils

The wine-growing regions can be divided into three different climates with Atlantic and continental influences. These are the Weinviertel in the north and the Danube region west of Vienna with the wine-growing areas of Wachau and Wagram, as well as three tributary valleys that gave the wine-growing areas of Kamptal, Kremstal and Traisental their names. Here, predominantly white wines are produced, for which the conditions are predestined. The third climatic region is the Pannonian Lower Austria in the southeast with the two wine-growing regions Carnuntum and Thermenregion on the border to Burgenland with excellent conditions for red wines. The predominant soil types are gravel, sand, loess, loam and primary rock. The different conditions also result in a great variety of wines.

Niederösterreich - topographische Karte

Wine-growing regions

By far the largest winegrowing area, the Weinviertel covers more than half of the vineyards and is therefore divided into three large areas: Falkenstein, Mailberg and Retz. Together with the two generic wine-growing areas of Burgenland and Vienna, Lower Austria forms the wine-growing region Weinland, which serves as an indication of origin for country wines. The generic wine-growing region of Lower Austria is divided into eight specific wine-growing regions. For all quality wines, the generic wine-growing region of Lower Austria must appear on the label; for DAC wines, the DAC designation must also appear. The eight specific wine-growing areas with the development of the vineyards from 1999 to 2022:

Niederösterreich - Tabelle mit der Entwicklung der Rebflächen

Grape Variety Index

Lower Austria is a classic white wine region, accounting for about three quarters of the wine produced. The province supplies over 60% of Austria's wine production. In 2022, the vineyards covered a total of 27,075 hectares of vines. Compared to 2016 with 28,146 hectares, this was a reduction of 1,071 hectares (almost 4%). The share of white wine varieties is 78%, the share of red wine varieties 22%. The trend towards more red wine varieties is stagnating or declining. The clearly dominant grape variety is Grüner Veltliner with almost half of the stock, followed by Riesling, Welschriesling and Müller-Thurgau. Among the red wine varieties, Zweigelt dominates, followed by Blauer Portugieser, Blauburger and Blauburgunder. The biggest climbers were the varieties Blossom Muscat, Chardonnay, Muscaris, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc and Souvignier Gris, the biggest decliners Blauer Portugieser, Blauburger, Müller-Thurgau and Neuburger.

Grape variety
Austrian
Main name

in Austria
permitted synonyms

Colour

HA
2022

%
2022

HA
2016

%
2016

Grüner Veltliner Weißgipfler white 13.284 49,1 12.920 45,9
Zweigelt Blue Zweigelt, Rotburger red 3.478 12,8 3.521 12,5
White Riesling Riesling, Rhine Riesling white 1.804 6,7 1.730 6,1
Welschriesling white 1.112 4,1 1.312 4,7
Müller-Thurgau Rivaner white 874 3,2 1.231 4,4
Chardonnay Morillon - not used in Lower Austria white 775 2,9 604 2,1
Muscat Blanc Yellow M., Red M. / Muscat Blanc white 714 2,6 389 1,4
White Burgundy Pinot Blanc, Klevner white 695 2,6 842 3,0
Blue Portugieser - red 479 1,8 1.246 4,4
Sauvignon Blanc Muscat Sylvaner white 405 1,5 289 1,0
Blauburger - red 371 1,4 604 2,1
Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir red 291 1,1 293 1,0
St. Laurent - red 290 1,1 342 1,2
Merlot - red 287 1,1 258 0,9
Frühroter Veltliner Malvasia white 239 0,9 352 1,2
Cabernet Sauvignon - red 197 0,7 200 0,7
Roter Veltliner - white 188 0,7 193 0,7
Neuburger - white 171 0,6 352 1,3
Blaufränkisch - red 148 0,5 149 0,5
Roesler - red 121 0,4 102 0,4
Rotgipfler - white 111 0,4 118 0,4
Traminer Gewürztraminer, Red T., Yellow T. white 103 0,4 101 0,4
Muscat Ottonel - white 71 0,3 90 0,3
Grey Burgundy Pinot Gris, Ruländer white 65 0,2 48 0,2
Zierfandler Late red white 61 0,2 77 0,3
Scheurebe seedling 88 white 40 0,1 47 0,2
Syrah Shiraz red 39 0,1 36 0,1
Bouvier - white 21 0,1 30 0,1
Cabernet Franc - red 19 0,1 13 -
Muscaris - white 18 0,1 - -
Rathay - red 16 0,1 12 -
Gold muscatel - white 16 0,1 - -
Sylvaner Green Sylvaner white 15 0,1 27 0,1
Souvignier gris - white 9 - - -
Goldburger - white 8,5 - 20 0,1
Rose muscatel red 3,5 - - -
Jubilee vine - white 2 - 2,5 -
Blue Wildbacher - red 1 - 1 -
Furmint - white 1 - 0,5 -
other varieties - white/red 477 1,8 598 2,1

WHITE SORT

white

21.227

78

21.205

75

RED SORT

red

5.848

22

6.941

25

TOTAL

27.075

28.146

Producers

Well-known winegrowers' associations or cooperatives are Falkensteiner Berggericht, Kamptal Klassik, Mailberg Valley, Premium Wine Estates Weinviertel, Traditional Wine Estates Austria, Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus, Wagramer Selektion, Wine Estates Retzer Land and Wine Estates Wagram. The wineries are listed in each case under the wine-growing regions.

Map: © ÖWM
Gumpoldskirchen: © Armin Faber - ÖWM
Stillfried: © ÖWM/WSNA
Dürnstein: © Armin-Faber - ÖWM
Table Vine Variety Development: Norbert F. J. Tischelmayer

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