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Austria has a surprisingly long history of winemaking, with recorded records dating back to the 12th century. Since the beginning of the 1990's, Austria has implemented some of the strictest wine classifications laws in the world. Wines are categorised as follows:

Tafelwein.

The lowest quality, termed a "jug" wine.

Landewein.

Another jug wine, but of slightly better quality. The region of production is also specified.

Qualitaswein.

Again, a wine from a specific region, but also using authorised grape varieties.

Kabinett.

Of similar quality to Qualitaswein, but the grapes are further ripened.

Pradikatswein.

Slightly better quality than Qualitaswein, but these wines are all officially inspected, and have a corresponding reference number and seal. They are also graded in six orders of ripeness, from the least, Spatlese, through Auslese, Eiswein, Beerenaulese, Ausbruch, to Trockenbeerenauslese.

A variety of further information is present on all Austrian wine labels. This includes (in order from the top of the label down);

  • The Austrian Flag.
  • An identification number.
  • A guarantee that the grapes used are entirely Austrian.
  • The name of the originating appelation.
  • The vintage and grape variety.
  • The quality level of the wine.
  • The producer.
  • The alcohol content.
  • Sweetness levels, with the following categories:

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    This guide is divided into the four main regions; Burgenland, Lower Austria, Styria and Vienna.

    Burgenland.



    Mittelburgenland.

    Neusiedlersee.

    Neusiedlersee-Hugelland.

    Sudburgenland.


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    Lower Austria.



    Carnuntum.

    Donauland.

    Kamptal.

    Kremstal.

    Thermenregion.

    Wachau.

    Weinviertel.


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    Styria.



    Sudoststeiermark.

    Sudsteiermark.

    Vienna.



    Vienna itslef has a small but significant wine producing business. The main variety is Gruner Veltliner,in addition to other whites such as Neuburger, Traminer, Chardonnay and Riesling. Reds, although less common, are equally as good with examples such as Blauburger, Zweigelt and Cabernet Sauvignon.


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