The year 2018 once more set a record for exports of Austrian wine, with 170.3 million Euros around the world, 6.9% more than the previous year. In addition, the bountiful 2017 vintage helped to exceed the fifty-million-litre mark in exports for the first time since 2010. Austrian wine was also extremely successful on the home front: the retail grocery trade recorded an increase in sales of 6.9% in 2018, and in terms of value, the market share of Austrian wine in this sector rose to more than 70%.

‘For the most part, Austria’s grapevines were able to withstand the enormous heat and lack of moisture that characterised the 2018 vegetation cycle. So we have a very early and very ripe vintage on our hands, one in which persistently high temperatures have led to consistently higher levels of alcohol and lower levels of acidity. Volume will in any event be just above average: we are looking forward to a harvest in the magnitude of some 2.6 million hectolitres’, declared Viticultural Association president Johannes Schmuckenschlager, in reference to the 2018 vintage, which will now reach its climax with one of the earliest harvests in decades.

The IWC Sweet Winemaker of the Year 2018 award has gone to Helmut Lang from Weingut Helmut Lang, the first time that Helmut Lang has won the Sweet Winemaker of the Year award. This Austrian vineyard was awarded one Trophy, two Golds, eight Silver and five Bronze Medals.

While worldwide 2017 saw the lowest level of wine production in years, Austria was able to record a harvest that was very good in terms of quality and also blessed by abundant volume. The yield of 2.6 million hl (according to October’s third harvest estimate) amounted to a quarter above the five-year average, which will go a long way to filling cellars that in many places have been rather empty. True, there were late frosts in 2017 as well as hailstorms, but both caused substantially less damage than in the previous year. Only the Weinviertel experienced a more modest harvest compared with the average, due to extremely arid conditions in one of the hottest summers in a long time.

Good things come in small packages! Winemaking is a never-ending learning process that never fails to keep the suspense alive. Take, for example, last year’s unusually fickle weather that swept across the vineyards from Lake Neusiedl all the way to Southern Burgenland. The 2016 vintage was a source of much trepidation for Burgenland’s winemakers, who had to put in a great deal of work and were ultimately rewarded with only small yields. Still, the harvest season in late summer went quite smoothly thanks to perfectly ripe and healthy grapes, resulting in fruity red wines full of complexity and structure.

 

 

What winemakers say about the 2016 vintage …

Reinhold Krutzler (Krutzler Winery), Deutsch Schützen

This year gives us top-notch white and red wines of excellent quality, albeit in rather small quantities here in the Eisenberg region.

 

 

... the wine industry secures one in 17 jobs in Burgenland

... EUR 234 million of gross value added in Burgenland in 2014 despite very small harvest

... Fiscal authorities, trade, hotels and restaurants & tourism benefit most from the wine industry

... Positive development thanks to focus on quality and meticulous work

 

 

 

 

 

 

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