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Wine from Austria - demand grows to record levels

white wine bottle © Österreichische Weinmarketing GmbH (ÖWM), Gotschim

© Österreichische Weinmarketing GmbH (ÖWM), Gotschim

7. April 2010

Austria's wine-growing industry is small but highly acclaimed and Austrian wines are being taking ever more seriously on the international stage. This is clearly reflected in the export figures - last year wine exports rose by 16%.

Austrian wine exports exceeded all expectations in 2009. Exports of Austrian wine rose by 5.3% in value and an incredible 16% in volume, with exports of 70 million litres. These results are all the more remarkable because Austria’s overall total exports for 2009 fell dramatically (-19.9%) as a consequence of the global economic downturn. Setting the pace for the outstanding wine export development were key markets including Germany (+15%), Sweden (+51%), Switzerland (+27%), the Netherlands (+30%), and overseas markets such as Japan (+33%).

Austria’s wine-growing area is divided in four regions: “Weinland Österreich” (Lower Austria and Burgenland), “Steirerland” (Styria), the capital city “Wien” (Vienna) and “Bergland Österreich” (the remaining provinces, where small vineyards are thinly scattered). The 51,000 hectares of vines are cultivated by around 20,000 wine producers. The average harvest yields around 2.5 million hectolitres. 70% of vineyards are used for white wine.

One example of how popular Austrian wines are can be seen at Fifteen in London, a restaurant begun as a Jamie Oliver initiative. On the wine list at Fifteen one can order a Grüner Veltliner from the Höpler vineyard in Burgenland.