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Posted: Thursday, 24 June 2021 14:32

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Austria pioneers First Digital Vineyard Atlas in the World

June 24: The Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) launched a digital atlas of wine origins at austrianvineyards.com last week, that includes the origins of Austrian wine and single vineyards (Rieden), following three years of groundwork with the University of Vienna, writes Subhash Arora who has visited all the vineyard regions and marvels at the efficiency and commitment of the Board with the venture of introducing world’s first digital Wine Atlas covering the entire wine-producing country In an effort to improve s sales globally

Austrian Wine Marketing Board (Austrian Wine) has sought to answer the question of where the Austrian wine in the glass comes from, by introducing Austrianvineyards.com with unprecedented simplicity and precision. This site brings together all the legally defined wine origins of Austria on a single interactive map. Be it the bottom level, where a wine’s origin is simply defined as being Austrian, or the next levels of the country’s 27 winegrowing regions or 458 winegrowing municipalities, to the top level of origin, where wines originate from one of the highly revered single vineyards; there are more than 4,300 such Rieden in Austria (A Single vineyard is Ried in German wine parlance).

Details of all the 4300+ Rieden

Austrianvineyards.com provides descriptions and data about all levels of origin- smaller the designated origin, more detailed the information. Every single vineyard (Ried) description contains information about the area under vine, elevation, incline, orientation, average temperature, rain and sunshine hours- the key parameters for determining the quality and characteristic flavour of a wine.

The Steiermark (Styria) single vineyards are still in the process of being officially defined, but would be added to the platform by the year end. The site will be regularly updated to reflect the latest legal developments within the wine industry.

Intense Collaboration with Univ. of Vienna

The wine origins atlas austrianvineyards.com, is result of three years of intense collaboration with the Department of Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna and a company called plan+land. The Austrian wine industry now has revolutionary, world-class tools to help them secure the success of their origin marketing.

‘The wine atlas brings us another step ahead on the global stage and shows that we are at the cutting edge of the industry. Consumers will now know precisely where their Austrian wine comes from, right down to the specific vineyard. From now on, you’ll be able to taste the origin of wine – AND explore it,’ said Elisabeth Köstinger, Austrian Minister of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism at the release. Johannes Schmuckenschlager, Chairman of the Austrian Winegrowers’ Association says, “the new single vineyard maps represent the very essence of origin marketing for Austrian wines. Our winegrowers now have an exceptional tool with which they can recount the origin and history behind their wines.”

Chris Yorke, CEO of Austrian Wine since January 1 2020 after Willie Klinger left the organisation, feels that the project makes them international pioneers. “Right from the outset, our goal was to provide our winegrowers with the best tool to drive their marketing forward, whether to promote sales from the cellar, wine tastings or exports. Wine merchants, sommeliers and journalists from all corners of the world can now gain unprecedented insights into Austria, too’.

Susanne Ertler-Staggl, project manager for ‘Austrian Vineyards’, believes that a clear and transparent information about all wine origins is the foundation for any serious and successful wine-producing country. ‘We are proud of becoming the first wine-producing country in the world that has managed to bring together information on the origins of all of its wines in one place,’ she says.

Also in Print Form

No other wine-producing country has ever catalogued all the origins of its wines and presented them in such detail. Besides the digital version, the new single vineyard maps are now also available in printed form, showing all legally defined single vineyards. The level of detail and cartographic standards also represent a milestone for the Austrian wine industry.

Wine sales in 2020

Meanwhile, sales figures for Austrian wines for 2020 show a big drop in the on-trade as everywhere else in the world, dropped by a third. Austria did see an increase of 17% in home consumption (18% in value. Supermarkets also had a 16% growth in volume, (17% in value). However, the increases could not offset the sales loss from on-trade

However, there was a pleasant surprise in exports which continued the growth increase of 6.3% at67.4 million litres while revenue reached a new high of €187 million recording an increase of 2.4%. Although exports to the USA and Asia declined, the monopoly markets of Scandinavia and Canada showed remarkable growth.

There may still be some wine drinkers in India and in fact the rest of the world, who don’t know the difference between Australia and Austria but this small nation known more for its ski-resorts and museums, old monasteries and remarkable historical castles, Sacher Torte and Wiener Schnitzel… and ‘The Sound of Music’ has a lot to offer in the area of wines- especially Grüner Veltliners (GV), Rieslings and Zweigelt and many other grapes and should pique the interest of wine connoisseurs, especially the millennials in the years to come- and the digital format launched should help in a large measure to increase their curiosity and knowledge. Rieden wines are an ultimate for the true connoisseurs.

Austrian Wines in India

There may still be some wine drinkers in India and in fact the rest of the world, who don’t know the difference between Australia and Austria but this small nation known more for its ski-resorts and museums, old monasteries and remarkable historical castles, Sacher Torte and Wiener Schnitzel… and ‘The Sound of Music’, has a lot to offer in the area of wines- especially Grüner Veltliners (GV), Rieslings and Zweigelt and many other grapes and should pique the interest of wine connoisseurs, especially the millennials in the years to come- and this digital form launched should help in a large measure to increase their curiosity and knowledge. Rieden wines are an ultimate for the true connoisseurs

Subhash Arora

 

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