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European Union wine subsidies favour the bigger wine producing countries

New research has revealed that when it comes to handing out subsidies and support it some of Europe’s wealthiest and most established wine countries that get better than countries you might think are more in demand. A new study published in the Journal of Wine Economics, shows it’s the EU’s riches countries that receive the lion’s […]

Wohlmuth Südsteiermark

Gerhard Wohlmuth oversees what is one of southern Styria’s larger quality estates. The 60 ha of vineyards include some leading sites planted to more than a dozen varieties, 70% white. These are the real stars, including two starkly contrasting Sauvignons. Steinriegel comes from very steep schist slopes, is mostly fermented in stainless steel and has […]

Domäne Wachau Wachau

This Wachau co-op with around 600 growers produces some of the most readily available and affordable examples of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling from the Wachau. While the wines are not at the same level as the very best private estates, standards are nonetheless quite impressive. Volume examples are released under the Wachau Klassik label and […]

Velich Neusiedlersee

From Apetlon in the Neusiedlersee, a short distance from the Hungarian border, the Velich brothers make Austria’s finest Chardonnay. Tiglat is a single vineyard example, 100% barrique-fermented and aged (50% new oak), that combine’s depth and richness with real poise and elegance. It is neither too ripe nor too oaky or leesy as some Austrian […]

Petra Unger Kremstal

Lately helped by her brother Axel, Petra Unger has been running this moderately large (40 ha) Kremstal estate since 1999. The vineyards incorporate those leased by her father from the Benedictine Abbey of Gottweig in 1987. Approachable and easy drinking wines are made under the Q label. While other varieties make a significant contribution, including […]

Ernst Triebaumer Neusiedlersee-Hügelland

Ernst Triebaumer (or ET) is one of the best-known names of Burgenland. From a total of 16 ha of vineyard, he and son Herbert are responsible for a wide range of styles. What is made in a given vintage depends to some extent on the climatic conditions. Whites include Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as well […]

Tement Südsteiermark

One of the standard-bearers for southern Styria, Manfred Tement makes some superbly balanced and expressive whites, the majority from 45 ha of estate vineyards. Beyond a range of sound, varietally pure Steirische Klassik basics, he makes some very good Chardonnay (Morillon) and at times brilliant Sauvignon. The latter from Grassnitzberg vineyards (limestone) has strength and […]

Heidi Schröck Neusiedlersee-Hügelland

Heidi Schröck achieves the same heights with sweet wines that other female Austrian winemakers do with dry whites or reds (see EHN, EICHINGER, PRIELER and UNGER). Her Ruster Ausbruchs are very good indeed – pure, spicy and concentrated but elegant too. The composition varies but can include Furmint, Welschriesling, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder and Sauvignon. A wonderfully […]

Schmelz Wachau

This is very much a family business and one with a relatively low profile, at least outside the German speaking countries. Production from 10 ha is roughly two-thirds Grüner Veltliner and one-third Riesling. Vineyard sites include Pichl Point with loess soils, which give a ripe, very fruit-rich Smaragd Grüner. It is also sometimes made in […]

Schloss Gobelsburg Kamptal

This ancient estate still belongs to a Cistercian monastery and the castle itself was built in the early 18th century. Under the winemaking direction of Michael Moosbrugger, with consultancy from Willi BRÜNDLMAYER since 1996, the wines have made amazing progress over recent vintages. 35 ha of vineyards give both Grüner Veltliner and Riesling that are […]

Schiefer Schiefer

Uwe is another Blaufränkisch man, with the potential to become the Blaufränkisch man. He is also Schist man, from both his name and the soils his 5.2 ha of vines grow in. The regular Eisenberg Blaufränkisch is made from bought-in grapes and aged only in large oak but is an excellent bright, pure, well-defined and […]

Salomon-Undhof Kremstal

This estate has remained in the same family since 1792. Bertold Salomon returned to take up the mantle from his older brother Erich in 2002. Von Stein Grüner Veltliner comes from two small plots of eroded rocky soils producing a wine of lovely minerality and intensity that starts out quite austere. Another fine Grüner comes […]

Prager Wachau

Franz Prager did much to establish the pre-eminence of top dry whites from the Wachau. His daughter Ilse and her winemaker husband Toni Bodenstein have sought to produce dry wines of ever-greater harmony and longevity as well as making some fine sweet wines when conditions permit. From the village of Weissenkirchen come several fine Smaragd […]

Polz Südsteiermark

A long-established family estate bolstered by the purchases of prime vineyards by Erich and Walter Polz in the eighties. There is now more than 50 ha and typically for southern Styria there is a quite a large range of wines, mostly dry whites but also reds and a sweet white. Steirische Klassik varietals are nothing […]

Rudi Pichler Wachau

Rudi Pichler’s wines are meant to be different, aiming for greater concentration and structure as well as ripe, intense fruit flavours. The use of indigenous yeast and higher fermentation temperatures can add an almost exotic quality to the riper styles. Yet the balance is excellent with good definition and minerality. There is real strength and […]

F-X Pichler Wachau

Franz Xaver Pichler is acclaimed by many to be the Wachau’s finest producer and it’s hard to dispute given the extremely high quality in his top Smaragd Riesling and Grüner Veltliner of great extraction and concentration. Certainly no effort is spared in maximising the quality potential from 7.5 ha of vineyards. The Loibner Berg is […]

R & A Pfaffl Weinviertel

Weinviertel is the little known region in the north-eastern corner of Austria, north of Vienna. Roman Pffafl’s 53 ha, spread over 10 villages, actually lie (mostly) just outside of Vienna (and the Wien wine zone). Now working with his son, who is also called Roman, he has proved what is possible here with particularly good […]

Bernhard Ott Wagram

Bernhard Ott’s 16 ha are in Wagram, now an independent region rather than just a quality zone within Donauland. The loess soils are highly suited to Grüner Veltliner. Only unoaked whites are made and 90% are from Grüner. The wines, progress from a cool, spicy Am Berg to Fass 4, a selection of the best […]

Gut Oggau Neusiedlersee

You can’t tell a wine by its label, but Gut Oggau aims to try. Distinctive marketing gives each of the estate’s nine wines a human face, name and personality. Perfect for the Facebook generation, sure – but these wines aren’t just pretty faces. Since 2007, its first vintage, Oggau has produced on 11.5 ha of […]

Anita & Hans Nittnaus Neusiedlersee

Reds take centre-stage at this 25 ha family-run estate that produces the wines as naturally as possible. Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch are the most widely planted varieties and form the basis of the regular blends. The elegant Heideboden is the principal estate wine and can also include St-Laurent, Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah […]

Nikolaihof Wachau

Nikolaus and Christine Saahs make fine biodynamically (Demeter certified) produced Riesling, Grüner Veltliner and Gelber Muskateller from 22 ha of vineyards that have been a source of wine for more than a thousand years. The vines have a high average age and recent vintages have added a little extra intensity to wines that have good […]

Nigl Kremstal

The wines have been good here for some time but seem to have moved up a further notch in quality in recent vintages. A wide range of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling from top sites in Kremstal are made and the best are now very good indeed. As well as these among whites are a Sauvignon […]

Loimer Kamptal

Like most in Kamptal, Fred Loimer has more than half of his estate planted to Grüner Veltliner but a quarter of his 25 ha is also planted to Riesling. He excels at producing both. The wines are precise but pure and expressive with real depth and length. On current form Loimer looks set to join […]

Neumayer Traisental

Due east of the Wachau region, on the Traisen, a tributary of the Danube, Ludwig Neumayer has 8 ha of scattered parcels of vineyard. Despite the relative obscurity he makes better wines than some of those with parcels in the Wachau’s highly rated sites. His best wines are derived from Grüner Veltliner and Riesling although […]

Lagler Wachau

Almost half this 12.5 ha Wachau estate is planted to Grüner Veltliner and a quarter to Riesling. There are fine examples of each, both Federspiel and Smaragd, from leading sites. Particularly good is Riesling from Ried Steinborz (from 40–50-year-old vines) with a spicy component to its deep, stylish fruit character. Beyond the good vineyard-specific Grüners […]

Lackner-Tinnacher Südsteiermark

Fritz Tinnacher’s 17 ha of vines run up and down slopes in the very south of Southern Styria, just north of the border with Slovenia. There is good quality throughout the range, especially in the best wines from the Eckberg and Steinbach vineyards. Sauvignon is good even in a basic Steireiche Klassik bottling but significantly […]

Kracher Neusiedlersee

The sweet wines of the late Alois Kracher are some of the finest going, not just Austria’s best but among the top examples made anywhere. The family continues to work together to produce consistently outstanding wines, making the most of the favourable conditions for botrytis enrichment afforded by Lake Neusiedl and surrounding small lakes (known […]

Emmerich Knoll Wachau

This historic family vineyard of some 15 ha, planted mostly to Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, is another that shows just how good the top Wachau whites are. Emmerich Knoll’s wines can be difficult to taste when young but can become almost overwhelming in their intensity and concentration with a little age or time in the […]

Jurtschitsch Sonnhof Kamptal

This traditional family estate, now under the stewardship of Alwin and Stefanie Jurtschitsch, is run along ecological principles and with parcels in some of Kamptal’s top sites, is making excellent progress, now producing wines of a quality close to the top tier of Wachau/Kamptal dry whites. In the vineyards particular attention is paid to reducing […]

Juris Neusiedlersee

With viticultural roots that extend back at least 400 years, Axel and Herta Stiegelmar are the current generation producing an almost endless range of good whites, reds and sweet whites at Gols on the eastern shore of the Neusiedlersee. A total of 80% of production is red but the dry whites include a distinctive elderberry-scented […]

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