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Abbreviation for "Districtus Austriae Controllatus", the Austrian term for a region-typical and controlled origin quality wine, which corresponds to the French Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP) corresponds. A reorganization of the quality system in Austria was founded in the 1990s by representatives of the winegrowing association, the Weinhandels, the ÖWM (Wine Marketing Service Company) and the Ministry of Agriculture after long discussions. The aim of these efforts was and is to emphasize the distinctive character of Austrian wine and to strengthen its identity in order to assert itself against the increasing competition from Europe and overseas. Similar to France. Italy and Spain becomes the origin more considered or moved to the foreground. In order to illustrate the motivation, the difference between "Romanesque" and "Germanic" wine law should be clarified.

Romanesque and Germanic wine law

While in Germany and Austria in terms of quality Mostgewicht or the designation of the vine in the foreground, the Romanesque wine law characterizes the wines according to their origin, In Austria, a consumer will usually name a variety: "I drank a Zweigelt (a Veltliner)" . This does not give any information about the origin, the wine can come from any wine-growing region Lower Austria, of Burgenland or the Styria come. On the other hand, a consumer from a Roman country usually does not become a grape variety, but an area like Alentejo. Barolo. Beaujolais. Brunello di Montalcino. chablis. Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Chianti. Rioja. Saint-Emilion or Vinho Verde call. Specifically in France, the specification of a winery traditionally corresponds to, for example Château Cheval Blanc. Château Latour. Chateau Margaux. Château Mouton-Rothschild or Château d'Yquem a narrower designation of origin.

The wine-growing region (and in part also the winery in France) implicitly refer to a very specific type of wine. For example, if you buy one chablis, then you know very simply that it is a dry-aged French white wine Chardonnay is. Among other things, minimum alcohol content and maximum earnings Are defined. And it should be one of the seven Grand Cru act (privileged Chablis sub-areas), whose name is also on label then even stricter requirements apply. Likewise with one Rioja clear that it is a Spanish red wine Tempranillo, as well as with a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano for an Italian red wine Sangiovese is. For all three wines, the grape varieties are not necessarily mentioned on the bottle label.

But there is a precise description of the respective production regulations according to which the wines sensory by tasting and anlaytisch be checked by measurement methods before they can be marketed. After the wines are defined according to their origins in the Romanesque system, the origin corresponds to a wine description; in Germanic wine law, however, no specific wines are defined with their origin. So if someone said earlier "I drank a Kamptaler (Kremstaler, Mittelburgenländer, Weinviertler)", no information about the wine was given. It can therefore have been any red, rosé or white wine from dry to sweet from any grape variety. But that has changed since the introduction of the DAC. Although it should be noted that other quality wines can also come from DAC areas, but then only the wine-growing region may originate.

Origin as a concept of identity

Wines that are named and defined according to their origin are not interchangeable. In Austria there was a painful process of experience in this regard, as large amounts Green Valtellina. Riesling. Blaufränkisch or Zweigelt imported from Hungary and consumed by the Austrian consumer, who is primarily oriented towards the variety, in the belief that he was drinking Austrian wine. From the 2009 vintage, the specification of the grape variety (s) and vintage is permitted even at the lowest quality level. It is all the more important to emphasize the specific origin in marketing. For example, since a Chianti has to be produced (tasted) like a Chianti every year, a precise definition of the wine (variety, winemaking, aging, etc.) is required. All specifications are made by Consorzio (Grape and wine producers, dealers etc.).

This approach is similar in many wine-growing countries. The great advantage of self-determination is the fact that the responsible professional groups deal intensively with the wine and the area and also have to take into account traditional, local conditions. This creates distinctive and non-interchangeable types of wine. Even before the DAC system was introduced, there were similar efforts by individuals in Austria wine regions to emphasize the origin. This includes above all the association founded in 1983 Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus in the Wachau (Lower Austria) with very strict conditions of origin and production.

general DAC regulations

In all Austrian winegrowing regions there are interprofessional committees (IK) made up of representatives of producers, marketers and processors. There are all conditions and Vinification process and production methods with special consideration of product quality and KIP (Controlled Integrated Production) defined. In order to achieve DAC status, the wine must meet minimum requirements. The type of wine must be characteristic of the respective wine region. It must also be possible to produce to an extent that marketing measures appear expedient. There are the grape variety (s) and the characteristic taste characteristics like residual sugar and type of expansion, as well as the necessary viticultural and cellar technical measures such as Mostgewicht. alcohol content. pressing process. maturity and storage set. Only the DAC wines can be marketed exclusively under this name.

Wines that do not comply with the DAC regulations can still be considered quality wine to be produced. However, that cannot be the origin specific wine region how Weinviertel, but the as generic wine region designated next largest geographic unit as in this case Lower Austria at the label appear. For the Vins only the origin is allowed wine region be used.

There are generally applicable rules for all DAC wines: The wine must be prepared exclusively from grapes of the defined grape variety (s) harvested in the wine-growing region concerned; blending that is not subject to the designation (up to 15% other varieties) is tolerable. It is only allowed in glass bottles with the nominal volume of 0.75 l (or more) can be filled, a cap with Capsules is not permitted. The specification of a further quality designation is not permitted, in particular quality wine, and also cabinet or late vintage, The wines have to be obtained state test number like all quality wines the corresponding ones analytical and sensory undergo official tests before they can be marketed.

Start with Weinviertel DAC 2003

In February 2003, after long preparatory work, the first Austrian origin-controlled wine was successfully launched. It was the Weinviertel DAC (Lower Austria) of the variety Green Valtellina of the vintage 2002. During the preliminary selection, around half of the submitted wines were eliminated through strict controls. A total of 133 winegrowers from the Weinviertel presented more than 200 wines on February 17, 2003 in the Museumsquartier in Vienna. The great success of this idea soon became apparent and further wines or areas followed. In retrospect, the introduction was a wise anticipation of the EU wine market regulations that have been in force since August 2009. Among other things, there is now an EU-wide one quality system prescribed, which in wines with and wines without the name of origin divided.

Development of the DAC system

In the course of the introduction in the individual wine-growing areas, there was a fundamental change in philosophy. Most of the time, the DAC designations were identical to the specific wine-growing area designations. The Burgenland was an exception with a comprehensive restructuring in 2016. From four wine-growing areas, five with z. T. other names and limits.

When it came to the approved grape varieties, it was initially rigorous and only one grape variety was allowed (e.g. Weinviertel with Green Valtellina, Neusiedlersee with Zweigelt, Mittelburgenland with Blaufränkisch ) or two grape varieties (e.g. Kamptal, Kremstal, Traisental with Grüner Veltliner, Riesling). There was also only one category, which was later expanded to two ( Classic and reserve ). These restrictions may initially deter some wine-growing areas. The DAC systems introduced later became increasingly flexible. By far the most sophisticated system was that of Styria, which was introduced in 2018 with many grape varieties, the three-tier quality pyramid Ried wine. local wine and of wine as well as exemptions.

In May 2019, the Austrian National Council, with the votes of ÖVP, FPÖ and NEOS, passed an amendment to the Wine Act with the aim of further strengthening the origin wines. This created the possibility for the regional wine committees in the existing and future DAC areas to give the DAC wines the indication of narrower origins, such as a Great location, a wine-growing town or one reed by regulation to reserve. The decisions have to be made unanimously in the regional wine committees.

The DAC areas

DAC area

from year



Weinviertel 2002 Green Valtellina Classic, reserve / place, Riede
Mittelburgenland 2006 Blaufränkisch Classic, reserve / place, Riede
Traisental 2006 Grüner Veltliner, Riesling Regional, local, Riedenwein / Reserve
Kremstal 2007 Grüner Veltliner, Riesling Regional, local, Riedenwein / Reserve
Kamptal 2008 Grüner Veltliner, Riesling Regional, local, Riedenwein / Reserve
Eisenberg 2008 Blaufränkisch Classic, reserve
Leithaberg 2009 many grape varieties -
Lake Neusiedl 2012 Zweigelt Classic, reserve
Vienna mixed set 2013 to the. 3 white grape varieties -
Rosalia 2017 Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch Classic, reserve
Schilcherland 2017 Blue Wildbacher 2018 included in West Styria
südsteiermark 2018 many grape varieties Regional, local, Riedenwein
Vulkanland Steiermark 2018 many grape varieties Regional, local, Riedenwein
West Styria 2018 many grape varieties Regional, local, Riedenwein
Carnuntum 2019 GV, WB, CH, BF, ZW Regional, local, Riedenwein

Austria - specific wine-growing areas or DAC areas

Source: The marketing of Austrian wine by Willi Klinger,
ÖWM (Austria Wein Marketing GmbH)

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