Getting to know Austrian Wines

All wines are not created equal!

A lasting trend?

Craft breweries (or microbreweries) came on the scene in the 1970’s and 80’s. These independently-owned, small-batch were welcome alternatives to the big-name, big-money manufacturers. Today, craft beer is everywhere. The emphasis on quality and taste has led to even more refined entrepreneurs and also forced the big brands to rethink strategy and sometimes even recipes.

But what about wine?

In terms of wine trends, Grüner Veltliner has hit the world market by storm, and turned people’s attention to Austrian wines. Periodicals like The New York Times and The Guardian are covering Austrian wines, and culinary magazines like BBC GoodFood and Jamie Oliver magazine are increasingly suggesting Austrian wine pairings. The secret appears to be out!

Numbers!

The average Austrian drinks about 31 litres (roughly 8 gallons) of wine every year. Germany for example keeps that number at about 24 litres. The country has been a steady entry among the top wine consuming countries in the world. This is a list that includes mostly much larger countries like the USA, China, and Germany! But since Austrians are great fans of their own work, they consume most of their wine themselves. Big wine countries like Spain, Italy or France represent over half of the world’s wine exports in terms of value of sales, while Austria exports a tiny 5%.

There are many smaller winemakers in Austria who make a limited number of bottles per vintage. These vineyards are often family-run, with grapes harvested by hand, the land worked with the native ecology in mind—in many cases organically or even by means of biodynamic agriculture. But due to this limited production, these wines are basically created for the local market and there is hardly any investment in advertising. This makes Austrian small-batch or craft wines hard to find outside of the country.

A change of pace

All over the world, large corporations are buying up grapes and finished wines from smaller producers. They then machine blend or rebrand and undercut the local market as well as the producers. This has led many small wineries to close entirely or lose both name and quality control. The result for the consumer is an increasing number of wines of questionable origins with little personality and zero artisanship.

However, people are starting to catch on. They seek out wines and vintners who are in it for the love of the grape and the age old craft of wine making. The modern wine lover is a connoisseur in his or her own right. You care about body and flavour as well as the spirit behind the wine.

This is where Craftwines comes in. We want to create a platform for winemakers to introduce themselves and their vineyards. By defining philosophies, setting mutually agreed upon principles and strict quality control, you can trust that every wine on Craftwines was lovingly crafted, sustainably produced, and hand-selected by people who care about the same things you do.

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