© TRV SWS | Tom Lamm

Grape varieties in South Styria

Southern Styria, the largest wine-growing region in Styria, is known for its fragrant and fresh wines. Styria, and with it Southern Styria, gained international fame through Sauvignon Blanc, which is the region’s leading variety. With a cultivation area of 21%, Sauvignon Blanc is also the most cultivated grape variety.


The remaining cultivated area is divided between Welschriesling, Pinot Blanc, Muscat, Chardonnay and small areas of Riesling and Pinot Gris. You can find more information about our grape varieties here!


Source: Wein Steiermark | www.steirischerwein.at  and Österreich Wein | www.oesterreichwein.at 

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc originally comes from France and was brought to Styria in the 19th century by Archduke Johann under the name Muskat-Sylvaner. Southern Styria does very well in international tasting comparisons and has already won numerous prizes.

The Sauvignon Blanc requires good sites but rather sparse soil. Due to its strong growth, the canopy work is also more intensive than with other grape varieties. The Sauvignon Blanc harvest is a little later, as it has a longer ripening period.

The colour of young Sauvignons is greenish to pale yellow, while mature Sauvignons have strong greenish yellow tones. The flavour is very complex and rich in extracts with a wonderful acidity structure. Wines from grapes that have not fully ripened have a slightly grassy aroma, while those from ripe grapes develop a variety of aromas that includes paprika and blackcurrant.

 

Welschriesling

The Welschriesling probably originates from northern Italy and is a very widespread grape variety that can be used in many ways. It can cover almost all quality levels and is very well suited to sparkling wine.

Welschriesling prefers warm sites and magnesium-rich soils. The ripening period is also somewhat longer for Welschriesling than for other grape varieties.

The wine is generally characterised by a higher acidity and has a very fruity bouquet. Its flavour is reminiscent of green apple and citrus. These characteristics make Welschriesling a fresh wine. Welschriesling’s versatility is particularly evident here, because in addition to being used to produce fresh summery wines, the variety is also used to make excellent sweet Prädikatweine (high-quality wines with special attributes).

Pinot Blanc

Pinot Blanc comes from Burgundy in France and is known in German-speaking countries as “Weißburgunder” or “Weißer Burgunder”.

It places very high demands on the site and soil, which means that this variety only delivers the highest quality in very good locations. Pinot Blanc’s unobtrusive nature makes it a popular choice for blending with other varieties. A wine blend is known in wine jargon as a cuvée.

Unsurprisingly, young Pinot Blanc is rather neutral, perhaps a little flowery. Mature wines develop a more intense taste and a nutty aroma.

 

Muscat

Muscat (known as “Muskateller” in German-speaking countries) is one of the oldest grape varieties and comes in several types. In Southern Styria, the most typically cultivated type is Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (known in German-speaking countries as “Gelber Muskateller”), which has greenish yellow grapes. Although its origin cannot be proven, it is suspected that it came from Italy or Greece.

This wine is very popular and the consumption of Muscat has increased greatly in recent years. In the glass, Muscat has a light yellow colour and a distinctive aroma.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay originally comes from Burgundy in France. In Styria it is known as “Morillon”. The variety is very auspicious, as it is used to produce some of the most expensive wines in the world. Chardonnay is one of the grapes used in the production of champagne.

It requires a location with deep, limy soil and a very good water supply. Only then can the most important feature of the Chardonnay, its complexity, emerge.

Chardonnays are traditionally matured in steel tanks, during which time the wine acquires a marked fruitiness and a lively acidity. The second internationally accepted method of maturation is malolactic fermentation and maturation in barrique barrels.

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Riesling

Originally from the Upper Rhine region in Germany, Riesling has become a world-famous variety and is known as the “King of White Wines”. This variety places very high demands on the location and loves mineral-rich soil. In Southern Styria, the Sausal region is very well suited for growing Riesling: it can develop its full aroma here.

Young Riesling is fruity and spicy; it becomes complex as it matures. The dominant aromas are of stone fruit (peach and apricot) and exotic fruits.