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Drink Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC with Wiener Schnitzel

Posted: Friday, 30 August 2013 11:08

Drink Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC with Wiener Schnitzel

Aug 30: Wiener Schnitzel is on the lips and palate of every visitor to Vienna, who would be glad to see the DAC label on several traditional Wiener Wines - the Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC wines produced in and around Vienna, making it the 9th DAC (Districtus Austriae Cotrollatus) appellation under the new Austrian classification system that came into being in 2002

The Wiener Gemischter Satz is one of Austria’s most traditional wines made from a field blend (the different grape varieties growing side-by-side in the same vineyard and thus fermented together). During the last ten years, this wine has undergone a sea-change in quality due to the strict quality and cultivation regulations mainly pushed by a 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 status for the wine. It was first accepted and confirmed by the National Wine Committee followed by the official ordinance signed by their Federal Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich.

Field blend and the regulations

The special feature of Wiener Gemischter Satz – the planting of different grape varieties side by side in the same vineyard, was originally implemented long ago as a method for yield protection and minimizing risk. Because of the diversity of the varieties ripening at different times, the variations in their quantity and quality due to weather conditions in each vintage were relatively minor. A unique aroma and flavour profile developed, reflecting the special characteristics of the origin of this local wine.

The new regulations for the Wiener Gemischter Satz specify that at least three white quality grape varieties should be planted together in a single Viennese vineyard and must be listed in the vineyard land registry as Wiener Gemischter Satz. Any of the grape varieties must not exceed 50% and not be less than 10%. The alcohol content must not be higher than 12.5% vol. The wine must be dry (implying that the residual sugar would be 4 gms/liter or less) and should not have a strongly recognizable expression of wood. It may also be marketed with a single vineyard designation in which case the alcohol must be a minimum of 12.5% vol. and so indicated on the label. This wine does not have to be dry and may be released for sale after March 1 of the year following the harvest.

‘Wien’ as a quality Wine Region retained

The new DAC applies exclusively to the regulations for the Wiener Gemischter Satz. All other Viennese wines may 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. Until 2009, it was a wine region for Landwein as well as a wine growing area for quality wine,” explains Willi Klinger, Managing Director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, adding, “the new DAC for the Wiener Gemischter Satz is a much more stringent guarantee of quality and origin than the previous regulation.” The new regulations sharpen the origin profile of Wiener Gemischter Satz and, at the same time, reflect Vienna´s diversity in the glass.

Started in 2002 and modeled loosely on the French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system, there are already eight DAC appellations. Thus Wiener Gemischter Satz becomes the ninth DAC designation of origin in Austria. The new label will be seen on the wines to be released from the 2013 vintage. The number of Austrian non DACs now becomes seven; their wine origin profiles are still being worked on. The eight designated DAC wine-growing regions have been legally defined by the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture as Weinviertel DAC (the first Austrian DAC), Mittelburgenland DAC, Traisental DAC, Kremstal DAC Kamptal DAC, Leithaberg DAC, Eisenberg DAC and Neusiedlersee DAC (click on each DAC to learn more).

DACs are created for specific regions to establish clearly the local stylistic profile, in alignment with the French concept of terroir. Like in AOC, DAC wines are labeled only with the regional name and not the varietal unless more than one varietal is allowed. Wines are also labeled according to sugar content and wines carrying the name of a grape variety or a vintage year must be composed of at least 85% of that grape or vintage, respectively.

All Austrian wines have a red and white striped Banderole around the neck or on top of the cork, which must be purchased by the producer to ensure that official quotas are not breached and to provide a tracking system. This also distinguishes Austrian wines laying up in any cellar.

The relatively uncomplicated DAC appellations could form useful guidelines for the Indian wine laws currently under formation.

For an earlier related article, please visit Austrian Wine : New Appellation of Leithaberg DAC

Subhash Arora

Tags: Wiener Schnitzel, Wiener Gemischter Satz, Vienna, DAC (Districtus Austriae Cotrollatus), WienWein, Regional Wine Committee of Vienna, Wiener Wein, Landwein, Willi Klinger, Austrian Wine Marketing Board, AOC, Austria


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