The wines of Austria
by Stephen Brook
Austrian wine has experienced a truly sensational quality boom in the last 20 years and is widely regarded as a phenomenon in the wine world. Austrian wine is found on every good wine list and is appreciated by wine experts and journalists. It is not uncommon to talk of an Austrian wine wonder. What is it that makes Austrian wines so special? A prime reason is Austria’s long tradition of winemaking. Vines have been cultivated in the same viticultural regions for thousands of years. With an ideal geological and climatic environment Austrian vines thrive on the essential conditions for authentic, distinctive wines packed with character and personality.
Austrian vintners and producers have recognized the importance of combining traditional viticulture with modern vinification processes to create wines of the highest quality. The sheer diversity of the country’s wine culture has also played an essential part in the re-emergence of Austrian wine, from lively, light-bodied and monumental, opulent white wines, to charming, fruity and full-bodied red wines with long cellaring potential and enticing and elegant sweet wines that are among the world’s best.
Stephen Brook’s The Wines of Austria introduces Austrian terroir and grape varieties and the rules and regulations that govern the production of Austrian wine before supplying a comprehensive guide to the 16 wine regions. A final chapter assesses vintages, with a star rating for each, and a separate rating for Niederoesterreich whites, Burgenland reds, and sweet wines. The most recent ten vintages are considered in detail.
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‘There’s an elegant simplicity and intelligence about this book that I found almost restful to read. It’s rich with facts and detail for the keen MW student without being tediously dry and academic and it would be a very useful book even for someone planning a wine-tasting holiday to Austria.’ – Tamlyn Currin, jancisrobinson.com
‘An excellent reference book’ – Steve Slatcher, winenous.co.uk