Styria (Steiermark)

Styria (Steiermark)

A minor player on the Austrian wine scene, and therefore off the radar of the world.

Steiermark is predominantly white wine territory with a trick or two up its sleeve.  It rises up into the Alps to the south, where it meets the Slovenian border.

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Styles of Wines

Simple dry white wines are the norm, inexpensive and consumed locally, but by no means alone.  Small quantities of red and sweet white wines are produced to a surprisingly high standard and the whites from the Südsteiermark, pre-eminent of the region's three districts, can be exceptional.  Weststeiermark is a district known for its dark rosé wines called Schilcher.

Key Vines

Welschriesling is the predominant grape, and usually unspectacular, but in the right hands it can become fresh, fruity and delicious.  Gewürztraminer, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris (known as Morillon and Grauburgunder respectively) are other white vines to be found.  Zweigelt can make excellent reds and the rosés of Weststeiermark come from the indigenous Blauer Wildbacher grape.

Climate and Conditions

It is a warm region, but not as warm as Burgenland to the north and east, and this makes it ideal for whites instead of reds.  Spring frosts and hail can be a problem.  With the Alps to the south, it is a very beautiful region in places.

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