Viticultural area: Styria

Associated viticultural areas Austria Austria Styria Styria
Styria

Steiermark - Weststeiermark, Südsteiermark, Südosteiermark

Vineyards in StyriaArchaeological findings show that vines were already grown in Styria in pre-Roman times by Celtic populations. The first document mentioning vine-growing dates back to 20 November 890 and refers to the village of Pettau (in present day Slovenia).
During the Middle Ages, wine-growing spread also to the side valleys and continued to expand up to the 16th century. Later, the vine-growing area area shrank considerably due to changes in the climate, invasions by the Turks, heavy taxation and rioting during the 30-Year War, as well as the increasing production of beer.
To bring new life to the wine sector, in 1784 Emperor Joseph II issued the so-called “Buschenschankpatent” (licence to sell alcoholic drinks). This allowed home-made wine to be consumed directly where it was produced. The arrival of diseases and parasites from overseas in the late 1800s, followed by the two world wars, led to a reduction in the area from 34,000 ha. to aboutimately 4,000 ha. today.

Facts and figures
 
Total wine-growing area of Steiermark

4,178

Total wine-growing area on difficult terrain (altitude, steep slopes, terracing) (ha.)

3,705

Area with slopes > 26% (ha.)

3,705

Area at an altitude > 500 m above sea level (ha.)

200

Area terraced (ha.)

50

Maximum altitude of the vineyards (m above sea level)

700

Area of vineyards on difficult terrain

Hilly slopes and mountainous areas

(Data updated to 2006)


Subdivision of the area

71% of the total area is cultivated by wineries with less than 1 ha. of land, 20% by wineries with 1-3 ha., 6% by wineries with 3–5 ha. and the remaining 3% by wineries with over 5 ha..

Wine-growing landscape

The southern region is the largest single vine-growing and wine-producing area in Styria and includes the western part of the Leibnitz province, stretching as far as the river Mur. About 2,200 ha of the area produces excellent white grapes. The steepest vineyards of Styria can be found in the extensive area of Sausal, with slopes with nearly 70% gradient.
South-east Styria includes all the vineyards growing east of the river Mur in an area of roughly 1,400 ha.
Western Styria is also known as Schilcherland and covers the area of Graz and surroundings, Voitsberg and Deutschlandsberg. With only 500 ha , it is the smallest wine-growing area in Styria.
In the three regions, the vines are planted in the direction of the slope and grass is allowed to grow between the rows. Vines are grown alongside other crops. Villages are dotted among the vineyards and there is a road network that serves both the vineyards and the wineries.

Main vines grown

White grapes: 


  • Welschriesling
  • Pinot bianco
  • Müller Thurgau
  • Sauvignon blanc
  • Gelber Muskateller
  • Gewürztraminer
Black grapes:


  • Blauer Wildbacher 
  • Zweigelt 
     
Data provided by:
LANDESWEINBAUVERBAND STEIERMARK - M. Werner Luttenberger