As a general rule, no mass products but rather unique rarities are produced in Austria. Many quality-conscious SMEs are responsible for this. Most of the 9,000-plus Austrian vineyards are small family-run businesses in which frequently three generations work together.
Schnapps distilling has a long history in Austria. Many enterprises still have a schnapps distilling monopoly dating from the 18th century. For around two decades, there has also been a small and fine set of professional distillers who are striving for a new brandy culture.
The international trend towards craft beer is also making itself perceptible in Austria and is bringing forth creative, unique products. Austrian beers are well-regarded internationally for their full body.
Austria's wines and sweet wines are popular all over the world. Their quality is guaranteed by the strict Austrian law on wine. With the aid of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (ÖWM), exports e.g. to Asia are being driven forward and an increasing number of international customers are being convinced.
The distinct, unmistakable character of Austrian wines is the result of a fortunate combination of great locations and a tradition of wine growing that extends back to the time of the ancient Romans, coupled with passionate producers.
The old, indigenous species of grapes are a veritable treasure and their undisputed frontrunner is the Grüner Veltliner. Austria's great Veltliners are counted among the world's great white wines by the most influential wine critics and gourmet magazines.
In an international comparison, Austria's brandies are among the finest. Austria is a country with diverse orchard cultures and thus a good base for fruit brandies.
Austrian winegrowers, beer producers and spirits producers are developing international sales markets and giving them intensive support. Particularly their high-quality niche products are proving successful on the global market.
Sustainability has been an important topic in the winegrowing sector and in the production of beer and spirits. Winegrowing is a highly intensive form of agriculture because it needs pesticides and plant care products, fertilisers, a high level of machinery and thus a high volume of energy and water. But 10% of all Austrian vineyards are already managed according to the guidelines of organic farming. Furthermore, the cultivation of genetically modified plants is fundamentally prohibited.The goal of sustainable viticulture is to conserve resources and to produce at low emissions. This also includes the processing and sales chains. The trend towards orange and raw wines is thus also taken into account. The changeover to organic, Demeter or orange wines is therefore an important future topic of the sector.