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Austria - Syrah

Austria - Syrah

Austria: You're exploring Austrian wines - enjoy!

Austria has a winegrowing heritage stretching back over three millennia and produces some of the best wines in the world, of unparalleled quality, from grape varieties not grown elsewhere.

Today you finally find a couple Austrian wines in most shops, and in restaurants. A good start, but not enough, as Austria has so much more to offer!

We offer wines from all the regions and have picked from the best growers in each winegrowing regions. All of these - except Stift Klosterneuburg - are family run - And Stift Klosterneuburg is in a class of its own. All offer wines of individuality, character, and outstanding quality

We wouldn't be the champions of Austrian Wines in the UK if we didn't cover all of its diverse regions. They are all here from the white wines of Wachau, Kamptal, Kremstal, Wagram and Weinviertel, through the magic of Vienna and the Viennese hills in Carnuntum and Thermenregion, all the way to Burgenland and Styria in the south. Enjoy!

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Austrian Wine Regions

Burgenland

Burgenland

Big reds, superlative dessert wines and natural treasures.

Carnuntum

Carnuntum

Red wine terroir and ancient roman cities

Kamptal

Kamptal

Elegant and spicy wines on hills north of the Danube.

Kremstal

Kremstal

Mineral Grüner Veltliner and Riesling.

Leutschach in Styria

Styria

Impossible rolling hills, world class whites and unique rosé.

Thermenregion

Thermenregion

Directly south of Vienna. Serious red wines and characterful whites.

Traisental

Traisental

Wine terraces South of the Danube. Amazing value wines.

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna - the only capital which is its own wine region.

Wachau

Wachau

Some of the best whites on the planet.

Wagram

Ancient rock and modern winemaking.

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Weinviertel

North of Vienna - the home of classic Grüner Veltliner.

Another surprisingly interesting area for Syrah has turned out to be south-eastern Austria - in the hand of people like Netzl, Weninger and Gunter Triebaumer. But we haven't been able to secure some in recent years, as they sell it all to Vienna and Berlin.

Syrah is far from the easiest grape to cultivate. It has quite a high susceptibility to botrytis and mites and to an unknown disease which targets Syrah specifically ("I would too!" - Joelle). It also has a very short harvesting time when at full ripeness as it has small berries which tend to shrivel soon after that point. The slower ripening long season of the Swiss Valais is a boon when dealing with Syrah, giving a lot more ease at harvest time.

Syrah should not be confused with Petite Sirah, a synonym for Durif, a cross of Syrah with Peloursin dating from 1880. (We have one from Israel if you are curious)

Syrah produces wines with a wide range of flavour notes, depending on the climate and soils where it is grown, as well as other viticultural practices. Aroma characters can range from violets to berries (usually dark as opposed to red), chocolate, espresso and black pepper. No one aroma can be called "typical". With time in the bottle these "primary" notes are moderated and then supplemented with earthy or savoury "tertiary" notes such as leather and truffle.

There are a number of legends associated with the origins of Syrah, pretty much all of which have been disproven by the arrival of DNA testing. Despite this, they add a touch of romance to the grape. It was suggested that the grape came from the town of Shiraz in Persia (Iran), hence the use of that name in some countries. These legends differ according to whoever is telling the story but suggest the grape arrived in the Rhône in a few different ways - through traders bringing it to Marseilles (no evidence exists of any Syrah having been planted in that area), through a crusader bringing it back from the war (unlikely that he would have travelled as far as Persia from the Holy Land), brought to France by a Persian hermit, or brought to Gaul by Probus, the Roman Emperor.

In truth, it was probably born in the Rhone pre-Alps. Syrah is the natural child of Mondeuse Blanche, from Savoie and Dureza, an old and rare grape originating from Ardèche. It is a great-grandchild of Pinot and a grandchild of Mondeuse Noire as well as being a half-sibling of Viognier.

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