Styrian wine is synonymous with variety and enjoyment. Every year it invites us to take a new journey of discovery through its scents and flavours.
Whether a delicately spiced, fragrant Welschriesling with notes of apple and citrus fruit, or a full-bodied, exotic Weißburgunder, it would be rude not to sample the wares at a rustic wine cellar, a traditional “Buschenschank” (wine tavern – accompanied of course by an original “Brettljause” platter of cold cuts), or even an upmarket wine shop. Wherever you are and whatever you try, Styrian wine is well worth the journey.
Around 1,200 wine businesses operate in the Thermen- & Vulkanland. They cultivate an area of around 1,700 hectares. Most of the companies are small in scale, but big on ingenuity, creativity and excellent quality. Some, such as Frauwallner, Ulrich, Neumeister, Thaller and Müller-Klöch, are internationally renowned. Others fizz with fresh ideas, such as the Weingut Scharl in St. Anna am Aigen, which presses one of its wines in harmony with the lunar phases, and the Weingut Krispel in Straden, which is developing a wine in basalt tanks. Organic wines continue to grow in popularity: two examples are those by the Winkler-Hermaden family in Kapfenstein and the Fischer siblings in St. Anna am Aigen.
Dotted along the four wine roads in the Thermen- & Vulkanland region are a number of wine shops and wineries, such as the Gesamtsteirische Vinothek in St. Anna am Aigen. Connoisseurs and wine lovers are in for a treat. At the Gesamtsteirische Vinothek you can sample some 220 wines from the three winegrowing areas of Styria (Vulkanland Styria , South Styria and West Styria) by the glass, and maybe even follow up with a purchase.
Each winegrowing town has its own special wine – its “Ortswein”, or local speciality/village wine – which is classified according to Styria’s DAC pyramid (this designates the origin and typical characteristics of a wine). For example, the Straden area is celebrated for its Grauburgunder, while Klöch is known for its versatile Traminer wines. In general, however, it is Welschriesling, Weißburgunder and Sauvignon Blanc that predominate.
Long ago, the Celts were growing vines in the Thermen- & Vulkanland, but who would have thought that the wine grown on these sometimes perilously steep slopes would come so far? In autumn the landscape ripples with a thousand colours, beckoning you down into the valleys and up into the hills. A warm breeze sweeps across the slopes and rows of vines.
The volcanic soils of the region produce the fruity white wines and full-bodied reds so typical of the region. It is the inimitable mineral content of the earth that gives these wines such a distinctive character.