Cultivation Vitis vinifera was introduced into the Danube basin long ago and has continued into modern times. Österreich, also called
Austria in English, was historically
known as a quality wine producer, but suffered greatly during the 20th century. In 1985 the wines had fallen to such low quality that some producers
added antifreeze to sweeten their wines. Fortunately the poison was discovered before anyone died, but the Austrian wine industry became the butt
of jokes for many years thereafter. As with most Deutsch-speaking countries wines are classified by their sugar content. In Österreich they use
the Klosterneuburger Mostwaage (KMW) as the unit of suger concentration in the must. The classifications are as follows:
Tafelwein Wines with > 10.7°KMW and the grapes can come from multiple wine regions.
Landwein Wines with > 14°KMW and < 11.5% alcohol, grapes for these wines must come from a single wine region.
Qualitätswein Wines with > 15°KMW before chaptalization,
which can raise whites to 19°KMW and reds to 20°KMW. In addition the grapes must come from a single wine district.
Kabinett Wines with > 17°KMW that undergo no chaptalization, have an alcohol content less than 12.7% and are made
from grapes hailing from a single wine district.
Prädikatswein Wines of the highest grade to which nothing is added (more info)
The country is divided into 4 Weinbauregionen, 9 Bundesländer and 16 Weinbaugebiete. However, the main viticultural regions are in the river
valleys of the east rather than the mountains of the west.