Study Cards on austria, vineyards, climate

Where are the vineyards of Austria based?
  • To the east. On the slopes of the Alps, the Pannonian plain and along the Danube river.
  • Aprox 45-50.000ha

1) Many top vineyards are on steep south-facing slopes
2) Flat low-lying vineyards near the Neusiedlersee experience regular/heavy botrytis.
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What are the influences that affect the cool continental climate in Austria?
  • North (weinviertel); northerly winds
  • South (steiemark); Adriatic influences, warmer
  • East (Burgenland); warm Pannonian climate, Neusiedlersee
  • West: Danube river and cooling breezes from the Alps


  1. Moderate continental climate with marked diurnal range in many areas.
  2. Long ripening season means noble rot is possible if humidity levels sufficient.
  3. Less variation in annual weather patterns than in northern Europe.
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What can be issues for the climate in Austria?
  • Spring frost
  • Hail
  • Low rainfall stress
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What are the two major soils in Austria? Which varieties are planted on these soils?
  1. Urgestein; thin soil over rock (granite/gneiss)
  2. Loess: richer soils
  3. Volcanic


Riesling; thin soil, needs less water
Grüner Veltliner; needs water, better on loess and clay.

Other soils: limestone, schist (Leithaberg), gravel and volcanic soils.
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Most vineyards in Austria are single our double Guyot with VSP trellising, for higher quality production. How is the harvesting done, and where?
Weinviertel and Burgenland; machine
Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal; on steep stone terraces; by hand, adding to cost.
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Austria has a low disease pressure, how come? What kind of practices benefit from this?
  • Moderate precipitation – ranging from 450mm in the Weinviertel to 850mm in Steiermark.
  • The lack of disease pressure has led to 14% of all vineyards following organic practices4 with an additional 9% certified sustainable.
  • Rainfall can be low during the growing season, particularly in Niederösterreich, and so irrigation may be required.
  • Focus on high quality wines rather than bulk
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