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The Wiener Gemischte Satz is one of Austria’s most traditional wines. And over the last ten years, this special field blend has undergone a long-deserved renaissance, thanks to the strict quality policy and new cultivation regulations mainly pushed by the group of Viennese winemakers known as WienWein. The significance of Wiener Gemischter Satz as the showpiece of Vienna’s wine sector combined with the strong desire for a protected designation of origin convinced the Regional Wine Committee of Vienna to apply for DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus) status for the wine. Once accepted and confirmed by the National Wine Committee, the official ordinance was signed by Federal Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich. With this, Wiener Gemischter Satz became Austria’s ninth DAC designation of origin. The first Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC wines to be released are from the 2013 vintage. As a result of this new development, the number of Austrian DACs now surpasses that of the non-DAC regions – seven – whose wine origin profiles are still being worked on.
A Colourful Blend in the Vineyard
The special feature of the planting of different grape varieties side by side in one vineyard – was originally implemented long ago as a method for yield protection and minimizing risk. Because of the diversity of the varieties, which ripened at different times, the variations in their quantity and quality – based on the vintage – were relatively minor. Ultimately, a unique aroma and flavour profile developed, reflecting the special characteristics of the wine’s origin.
Wiener Gemischter Satz Becomes DAC
The new regulations for the Wiener Gemischter Satz specify that at least three white quality grape varieties should be planted together in one Viennese vineyard and must be listed in the vineyard land registry as Wiener Gemischter Satz. In the wine, the share of one grape variety must be no more than 50%, while the share of the third variety must be at least 10%. The alcohol content – required on the label – can be no greater than 12.5% vol. The wine must be dry and should not have a strongly recognisable expression of wood.
The Wiener Gemischte Satz DAC can be marketed also with a single vineyard designation. The alcohol content of this wine must be a minimum of 12.5% vol. and indicated on the label. The wine does not have to match the “dry” taste description, and it cannot be released for sale before March 1st of the year following the harvest.
Wien as a Quality Wine Region is Retained
The DAC applies exclusively to the regulations for the Wiener Gemischte Satz. This means that all other Viennese quality wines can be marketed under the designation of Wiener Wein (Viennese wine). Any Gemischter Satz that does not comply with the regulations for a Wiener Gemischter Satz must be marketed as a “Landwein” with the Weinland designation of origin.
“This special regulation was necessary for Viennese wine because Vienna is both the country’s capital and a federal state – so until 2009, it was a wine region for Landwein as well as a wine growing area for quality wine,” explains Willi Klinger, manager of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board. “The new DAC for the Wiener Gemischter Satz is a much more stringent guarantee of quality and origin than the previous regulation.”
Adds an enthusiastic Herbert Schilling, head of Vienna’s Regional Wine Committee: “With the Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC, we’ve achieved a milestone in the consistent, years-long quality policy for wine growing in Vienna. The new regulations sharpen the origin profile of Wiener Gemischter Satz and, at the same time, reflect Vienna´s diversity in the glass.”
© AWMB / Gerhard Elze
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