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Description to Süd-Steiermark

By far the largest of the three specific wine-growing regions in the Austrian province or generic wine-growing region of Styria in terms of area. The history of viticulture dates back to the fourth century BC. In the monarchy towards the end of the 19th century, there were still 35,000 hectares of vineyards in what was then known as Lower Styria - roughly 15 times as many as today. At that time, however, areas now located in Slovenia were included. The Habsburg Archduke Johann (1782-1859) set the course for Styrian quality viticulture here by founding an experimental vineyard near Marburg (Maribor). The Pinot Blanc from the Jerusalem vineyard, now located in Slovenia, was one of the most sought-after white wines in Europe at the time and was served at many stately courts.

Südsteiermark - Leutschach

Climate & soils

The climate is characterised by Pannonian and southern European influences. The amount of precipitation is twice as high as in Burgenland and Lower Austria. The warm and humid weather favours the spread of botrytis for the production of noble sweet wines. Slate, sand, marl and limestone soils predominate. The sandy-clayey, tegel-like sedimentary rock, often mixed with shell limestone, is known as Opok in southern Styria.

Südsteiermark - topographische Karte

Wine-growing communities

The region is divided into an area on the Slovenian border and the Sausal region to the west of Leibnitz. The Sausal slopes at up to 650 metres above sea level have a gradient of up to 42° (90%) and can sometimes only be cultivated using cable winches. These vineyards are laid out in terraces with retaining walls and steps. They are among the steepest vineyards in Austria. Well-known wine-growing communities are Berghausen, Ehrenhausen, Gamlitz, Heimschuh, Kitzeck (wine-growing museum), Leibnitz, Leutschach, Silberberg (wine-growing school), Spielfeld, St. Andrä im Sausal and Sulztal. These are connected by the South Styrian Wine Route, the Sausal Wine Route and the Rebenland Wine Route (also known as the Klapotetz Wine Route).

Well-known vineyards are Altenberg, Annaberg, Anzried, Berggericht, Czamillonberg, Eckberg, Eichberg, Einöd, Gaisriegl, Goldes, Graf, Grassnitzberg (Subrieden Grassnitzberg, Hochgrassnitzberg, Mittelplatsch), Harrachegg, Hochberg, Kaiseregg, Kittenberg, Koregg, Kranachberg (Subrieden Jägerberg, Oberfahrenbach, Rotriegl), Kreuzberg, Langriegel, Nussberg, Obegg, Oberglanzberg, Pfarrweingarten, Pössnitzberg (Subrieden Krepskogel, Römerstein), Schlossberg, Schusterberg, Sernauberg, Sgaminegg, Speisenegg, Steinbach, Stermetzberg, Sulz, Trebien, Wielitsch, Wilhelmshöhe, Witscheinberg and Zieregg.

Grape variety index

In 2022, the vineyards covered a total of 2,788 hectares of vines. Compared to 2016 with 2,563 hectares, this was an increase of 225 hectares (9%). White wine varieties account for 2,537 hectares (91%) and red wine varieties for 251 hectares (9%). A special form of mixed vineyard is the Styrian mixed vineyard. The white wine varieties are dominated by Sauvignon Blanc, followed by Welschriesling and Muskateller. The red wine varieties are dominated by Zweigelt, followed by Blauer Wildbacher and Blauer Burgunder. The biggest climbers were Sauvignon Blanc, Blütenmuskateller, Muscaris, Muskateller, Souvignier Gris and Weißer Burgunder, while Müller-Thurgau was the biggest decliner. There were no major changes in the ranking.

Grape variety
main name

in Austria
authorised synonyms






Sauvignon Blanc Muscat Sylvaner white 703 25,2 542 21,1
Welschriesling white 426 15,3 424 16,5
Muscat Yellow M., Red M. / Muscat Blanc white 384 13,8 255 9,9
White Burgundy Pinot Blanc, Klevner white 346 12,4 292 11,4
Chardonnay - white 256 9,2 220 8,6
Zweigelt Blauer Zweigelt, Rotburger red 116 4,1 162 6,3
Müller-Thurgau Rivaner white 96 3,4 137 5,4
Blauer Wildbacher - red 92 3,3 61 2,4
Grey Burgundy Pinot Gris, Ruländer white 90 3,2 60 2,3
Scheurebe Seedling 88 white 85 3,0 91 3,5
White Riesling Riesling Rhine Riesling white 45 1,6 38 1,5
Traminer Gewürztraminer, Roter T., Gelber T. white 27 0,9 33 1,3
Muscaris - white 18 0,6 - -
Souvignier Gris - white 12 0,4 - -
Pinot Noir Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir red 10 0,4 8,9 0,3
Blaufränkisch - red 6 0,2 9,6 0,4
Cabernet Sauvignon - red 6 0,2 5,9 0,2
Blossom muscatel - white 6 0,2 - -
Merlot - red 5 0,2 6,1 0,2
St Laurent - red 4,5 0,2 6,1 0,2
Gold Muscat - white 4 0,1 - -
Blue Burgundy - red 4 0,1 5,1 0,2
Sylvaner Green Sylvaner white 4 0,1 4,7 0,2
Muscat Ottonel - white 3,5 0,1 3,0 0,1
Roesler - red 2 0,1 1,9 0,1
Bouvier - white 1,5 - 1,4 0,1
Goldburger - white 1 - 3,6 0,1
Rose muscatel - red 0,8 - - -
Blauer Portugieser - red 0,5 - 2,0 0,1
Cabernet Franc - red 0,4 - 0,5 -
Syrah Shiraz red 0,2 - 0,2 -
Rathay - red 0,2 - 0,1 -
Grüner Veltliner White plum white 0,1 - 0,9 -
other varieties - white/red 93 3,3 192 7,5
















DAC system

The Südsteiermark DAC area comprises the political district of Leibnitz excluding the municipal areas on the left bank of the Mur river. The cross-local wine-growing communities are Kitzeck-Sausal, Eichberg, Leutschach, Gamlitz and Ehrenhausen. The leading varieties are Sauvignon Blanc (for all wine-growing communities), Riesling (for Kitzeck-Sausal), Gelber Muskateller (for Leutschach, Gamlitz) and Morillon (for Ehrenhausen).

The origin-based DAC system was introduced in Styria in 2018. All other quality wines must be marketed with the origin Styria, the regional wines under the wine-growing region designation Steirerland. In contrast to the Austrian provinces of Burgenland and Lower Austria (where the individual regions were realised one after the other), an overall concept was developed for all three specific wine-growing regions. There is a three-level pyramid of origin with the levels of regional wine, local wine and Riedenwein. The DAC pyramid:

Steiermark - DAC-Qualitätspyramide

The Styrian diversity of varieties is taken into account in different ways (see the varieties in the diagram above). In the case of regional wines, it is retained, while in the case of local wines and in some cases also Riedenwein, local leading varieties have been defined differently for each wine-growing region. Regional wines may be marketed from 1 March, single vineyard wines and local wines from 1 May of the year following the harvest. An exception is made for wines from the Welschriesling and Schilcher Klassik varieties (only in Western Styria), which may be marketed as regional wines from 1 December of the harvest year and as local wines from 1 February of the year following the harvest. There is also an exception for the Steirischer Junker brand wine created by the Wein Steiermark association, which is traditionally presented at the beginning of November.

Steirischer Junker - Foto von Weinflaschen und Logo


Well-known wineries include Bischöflicher Weinkeller Seggau, Brolli-Arkadenhof, Domäne Müller, Dreisiebner Stammhaus, Elsnegg Engelbert, Erzherzog Johann Weine, Felberjörgl, Georgiberg, Gross Alois, Harkamp Hannes, Hirschmugl - Domaene am Seggauberg, Jaunegg Daniel, Kodolitsch, Kögl Tamara, Lackner-Tinnacher, Maitz Wolfgang, Malli Anton, Masser Peter, Melcher Schloss Gamlitz, Muster.Gamlitz, Muster Sepp, Polz Erich and Walter, Polz-Kiefer, Pongratz Markus, Potzinger Stefan, Primus, Rebenhof Hartmut Aubell, Regele Georg, Reiterer Christian, Repolusk, Rothschädl, Sabathi Erwin, Sabathi Hannes, Sattlerhof, Schauer, Schilhan Wilfried, Schmölzer, Schnabl Matthias, Schneeberger Johann, Schwarz Hans, Skoff Peter, Skoff Walter, Söll Maria & Johannes, Strablegg-Leitner, Strauss Karl & Gustav, Tement Manfred, Terra Gomeliz, Tscheppe am Pössnitzberg, Tscheppe Andreas, Tschermonegg, Weingut Albert - Familie Cramer, Werlitsch, Wohlmuth Gerhard and Zweytick Ewald.

Leutschach: © ÖWM - Anna Stöcher
Map and DAC pyramid: © ÖWM
Styrian Junker: Toni Muhr

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