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Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.


Description to Süd-Steiermark

By far the largest of the three specific wine-growing areas 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 called Lower Styria - that was about 15 times the amount today. At that time, however, areas that today lie in Slovenia were included. The Habsburg Archduke Johann (1782-1859) set the course for Styrian quality viticulture by founding an experimental vineyard near Maribor. At that time, Pinot Blanc from the Jerusalem vineyard, which is now in Slovenia, was one of the most sought-after white wines in Europe and was served at many stately courts.

Südsteiermark - Leutschach

Climate & Soils

The climate is characterised by Pannonian and southern European influences. Rainfall 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 lime soils predominate. In southern Styria, the sandy-clayey sedimentary rock, which is tegel-like and often intermixed with shell limestone, is called opok.

Südsteiermark - topographische Karte

Wine-growing communities

The area is divided into an area on the Slovenian border and the Sausal region to the west of Leibnitz. The Sausal slopes at an altitude of up to 650 metres above sea level, with a slope gradient of up to 42° (90%), can in part only be cultivated with a cable winch. These vineyards are laid out in terraces with retaining walls and stairs. 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 Road, Sausal Wine Road and Rebenland Wine Road (also Klapotetz Wine Road).

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 list

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%). Of this, 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. Among the red wine varieties Zweigelt dominates, followed by Blauer Wildbacher and Blauer Burgunder. The biggest climbers were Sauvignon Blanc, Blütenmuskateller, Muscaris, Muskateller, Souvignier Gris and Weißer Burgunder, the biggest relegated was Müller-Thurgau. There were no major changes in the ranking.

Grape variety
Main name

in Austria
permitted synonyms






Sauvignon Blanc Muscat Sylvaner white 703 25,2 542 21,1
Welschriesling white 426 15,3 424 16,5
Muscat Blanc 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 Blue Zweigelt, Rotburger red 116 4,1 162 6,3
Müller-Thurgau Rivaner white 96 3,4 137 5,4
Blue 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, Red T., Yellow 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, 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
Flower 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 muscatel - white 4 0,1 - -
Blauburger - 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 - - -
Blue 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 Weißgipfler 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 winegrowing 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).

In 2018, the origin-oriented DAC system was introduced in Styria. All other quality wines must be marketed with the origin Steiermark, the Land wines under the winegrowing region designation Steirerland. In contrast to the Austrian provinces of Burgenland and Lower Austria (where the individual areas were implemented 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 area wine, local wine and Riedenwein. The DAC pyramid:

Steiermark - DAC-Qualitätspyramide

Styrian varietal diversity is taken into account in different ways (see the varieties in the graphic above). In the case of regional wine, it is preserved; in the case of local wine and partly also in the case of Riedenwein, local leading varieties have been defined differently for each wine-growing region. The regional wines may be marketed from 1 March, the single vineyard wines and the local wines from 1 May of the year following the harvest. Exceptions are the wines from the varieties Welschriesling and Schilcher Klassik (only in Western Styria), which may be marketed as regional wines as of 1 December of the year of harvest and as local wines as of 1 February of the year following the harvest. Likewise, an exception applies to the branded wine Steirischer Junker created by Verein Wein Steiermark, which is traditionally presented at the beginning of November.

Steirischer Junker - Foto von Weinflaschen und Logo


Well-known wineries are 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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