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Abbreviation for "Districtus Austriae Controllatus", the Austrian name for an area-typical and origin-controlled quality wine, which corresponds to the French Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP) corresponds. A related reorganization of the quality system in Austria was in the 1990s by representatives of the Viticultural Association, the Weinhandels, of the ÖWM (Wine Marketing Service Company) and the Agriculture Ministry after long discussions. The aim of these efforts was and is to emphasize the uniqueness of Austrian wine and to strengthen its identity in order to assert itself against increasing competition from Europe and overseas. Similar to in France. Italy and Spain will be the origin taken more into account or brought to the fore. To illustrate the motivation, the difference between "Romanesque" and "Germanic" wine law is clarified.

Romanesque and Germanic wine law

While in Germany and Austria in terms of quality that Mostgewicht or the designation of the vine In the foreground, the Romanesque wine law characterizes the wines after their origin, In Austria, a consumer will usually name a variety: "I have drunk a Zweigelt (a Veltliner)" . This does not give any information about the origin, the wine can be from any winegrowing area Lower Austria, of Burgenland or the Styria come. In contrast, a consumer from a Romance country is usually not 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. Traditionally, in France, too, the specification of a winery, such as, for example, corresponds Château Cheval Blanc. Château Latour. Château Margaux. Château Mouton-Rothschild or Château d'Yquem a denser denomination 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 just know that it is a dry French white wine varietal Chardonnay is. Among other things, minimum alcohol content and maximum earnings Are defined. And should it be one of the seven Grand Cru act (privileged Chablis subspaces) whose name also label is given, then even stricter requirements apply. Likewise is at a Rioja clear that this is a Spanish red wine Tempranillo, as well as at one Vino Nobile di Montepulciano to make an Italian red wine Sangiovese is. For all three wines but 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 through tasting and anlaytisch tested by measuring methods before they can be marketed. Thus, after the wines are defined according to their origins in the Romanesque system, the origin of a wine description corresponds; In Germanic wine law, however, no specific wines are defined with the origin. So if someone said earlier "I have drunk a Kamptaler (Kremstaler, Mittelburgenländer, Weinviertel), so that was given no information about the wine. It may thus have been any red, rosé or white wine from dry to sweet from any grape variety traded. But that has changed since DAC introduction. Although it is to be noted that other quality wines from DAC areas can come, but then may only carry as the origin of the wine-growing region.

Origin as an identity concept

Wines that are named and defined according to their origin are not interchangeable. In Austria there was a painful experience process in this regard, as large quantities Green Valtellina. Riesling. Blaufränkisch or Zweigelt were imported from Hungary and consumed by the Austrian consumer, who is primarily based on the variety, in the belief that they drink Austrian wine. From the 2009 vintage, the indication of grape variety (s) and vintage is also allowed at the lowest quality level. All the more important is the emphasis on the specific origin in marketing. For example, after a Chianti must be produced (taste) every year like a Chianti, a precise definition of the wine (variety, vinification, aging, etc.) is required. All determinations are made by Consorzio (Grape and wine producers, traders, etc.) met.

In a similar way, this approach exists in many winegrowing countries. The big advantage of self-determination is the fact that the responsible professional groups have to deal intensively with the wine and the area and also have to take into account traditional, local conditions. This creates distinctive and non-exchangeable types of wine. Even before the introduction of the DAC system, there were similar attempts by individuals in Austria wine regions to emphasize the origin especially. 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

All Austrian wine-growing regions have interprofessional committees (IK) of representatives of producers, marketers and processors. There are all conditions and Vinification process and production methods with special consideration of product quality and the KIP (Controlled Integrated Production). To obtain the DAC status, the wine must meet minimum requirements. The type of wine must be characteristic for the respective wine-growing region. In addition, it must be able to be produced to an extent that marketing measures appear appropriate. It becomes the grape variety (s) and the characteristic taste characteristics like residual sugar and development, as well as the necessary to obtain necessary viticulture and cellar technical measures such Mostgewicht. alcohol content. pressing process. maturity and storage. Only the DAC wines can be marketed exclusively under this name.

Non-DAC wines may continue to be considered as quality wine to be produced. However, the origin may not be the specific winegrowing area as Weinviertel but as generic winegrowing area designated next larger geographical unit as in this case Lower Austria at the label appear. For the Vins may as origin only the wine region be used.

There are general rules for all DAC wines: the wine must be made exclusively from grapes of the defined grape variety (s) harvested in the wine-growing region concerned; a non-hazardous waste (up to 15% other varieties) can be tolerated. He may only in glass bottles with the nominal volume of 0.75 l (or multiple), a closure with Capsules is not permitted. The indication of a further quality designation is inadmissible, in particular quality wine, and also cabinet or late vintage, The wines must to obtain the state test number like all quality wines the corresponding analytical and sensory undergo official tests before they can be marketed.

Start with Weinviertel DAC 2003

In February 2003, after long preparations, the successful launch of the first Austrian origin-controlled wine finally took place. It was the Weinviertel DAC (Lower Austria) of the sort Green Valtellina of the year 2002. In the preliminary round about half of the submitted wines were eliminated by strict controls. A total of 133 winemakers from the Weinviertel region presented more than 200 wines at the Museumsquartier in Vienna on 17 February 2003. Soon, the great success of this idea turned out and it followed other wines or areas. In hindsight, the introduction was a wise anticipation of the EU Wine Order, which has been in force since August 2009. Among other things, there is now EU-wide quality system prescribed, which in wines with and wines without designation of origin divided.

Development of the DAC system

In the course of introduction to the individual wine-growing regions, there was a fundamental change in philosophy. For the most part, the DAC designations were identical to the specific wine-growing region names even within the borders. An exception was Burgenland with a comprehensive restructuring in 2016. From four winegrowing areas five with also z. T. other terms and limits.

In the case of the approved grape varieties one was at first rigorously let us only one Rebsorte (eg Weinviertel with Green Valtellina, Lake Neusiedl with Zweigelt, Mittelburgenland with Blaufränkisch ) or two grape varieties (eg Kamptal, Kremstal, Traisental with Grüner Veltliner, Riesling). There was only one category, which was later extended to two ( Classic and reserve ). These restrictions may have initially frightened some vineyards. The later introduced DAC systems then became increasingly flexible. By far the most ingenious system was then the Styria introduced in 2018 with many grape varieties, the three-tiered 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 Law with the aim of further strengthening the wines of origin. This has created the opportunity for regional wine committees in existing and future DAC areas to provide DAC wines with narrower origins, such as Great location, a wine-growing village or a reed by ordinance, to reserve. However, the decisions must be made unanimously in the Regional Wine Committees.

The DAC areas

DAC area

from Jg.



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

Austria - specific winegrowing areas or DAC areas

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

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