In the US Lower Austria, Vienna, and Burgenland often steal the spotlight from Austria’s fourth quality wine-producing state – Styria, which is a shame considering the great portfolio of wines this region has to offer!
Styria, known as Steiermark in Austria, is divided into three subsections known as: Südoststeiermark, Südsteiermark, and Weststeiermark, all of which have their own specializations. Here, Austria’s premier Sauvignon Blanc and Gelber Muskateller can be found and other white varieties such as Chardonnay (sometimes called Morillon), Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) and Pinot Gris (Grauburgunder) are also quite successful. It is Welshriesling, however, that dominates the landscape, accounting for 12.10% of the region’s production. Zweigelt and the lesser known Blauer Wildbacher make up the lions share of red wine production at 10.4 and 10.6% total, respectively. Blauer Wildbacher is most commonly used to create Weststeiermarks’s specialty, “Schilcher” which is a rose wine typical of the region known for its crisp acidity, but gripping tannins.
Styria is a beautiful piece of Austria often known for its breathtaking views and relaxed atmosphere. Though the wines are often weighty and can be high in alcohol due to longer ripening periods, these wines are always known for the elegance and true expression of terroir – soils are often mineral-rich and of limestone.
There are no DAC regions in Styria, but producers use the term, “Klassik” to denote wines made without oak. These are an honest presentation of the region and offer clear varietal character.
Though the wines of Styria can sometimes fetch hefty price tags in the US, they are well-worth the money. For example,Sauvignon Blanc can easily rival the best in the world and is often the preference. Gelber Muskateller is an easy-drinking wine, perfect as an apertif or with lighter hors d’oeuvres. Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay can easily pair with the main event, especially with some age to them. Besides, you’ll be receive all the attention once you provide this insiders tip to the party!