Steiermark, one of Austria’s four main wine producing regions, is also the southernmost wine region in the nation. It shares a border with Slovenia and is known for its hilly terrain and a much cooler climate than found elsewhere in Austria.
There are three grape varietals that are particularly popular here: Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer, and Blauer Wildbacher. Of these three, the Blauer Wildbacher wine is most quintessentially Austrian: it is often described as a local cult rosé and known locally as Schilcher.
There are three wine districts within Steiermark: Südoststeiermark, Südsteiermark, and Weststeiermark. The wine district of Steiermark closest to the Slovenian border, Südsteiermark, is best known for its unique Sauvignon Blanc wines. In contrast, the western wine district of Weststeiermark is known for its ancient vineyards and the Schilcher rosé. The third wine district, Südoststeiermark, is known for its crisp, aromatic wines as well as its volcanic, rich soil.
Wine experts now consider Steiermark to be one of the world’s top terroirs for producing world-class Sauvignon Blanc wines. They are usually described as fresh and elegant, primarily due to the warm days and cool nights of the region. Approximately, 75% of all wines from Steiermark are white wine varietals.
Recently, there have been extensive efforts to develop the tourist appeal of the South Styrian Wine Road (Südsteirische Weinstrasse), which some have compared to Italy’s Tuscany for its rolling hills. It is a 44-mile-long road where visitors can enjoy a nice mix of crispy, fruity and aromatic wines, including those made from Welschriesling, Weissburgunder, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc and Morillon (Austria’s version of Chardonnay).
Here is a brief audio guide on Steiermark wine region. Check it out.