Weststeiermark DAC

Map of Weststeiermark DAC
© ÖWM

The Wine

The undisputed star of the show here is a unique terroir wine: the Schilcher. This rosé vinified from the variety Blauer Wildbacher is impressive for its red berry notes (from strawberry to raspberry) and refreshing, invigorating acidity. The name ‘Schilcher’ comes from its dazzling (schillernd) display of colours, which can range from light pink to onion-skin. Only Schilcher from the Weststeiermark may be marketed with an indication of specific DAC origin (Weststeiermark DAC), because here, more than anywhere else, the desirable characteristics of the variety are particularly prominent. One also finds the typical Styrian white wine varieties in the Weststeiermark, ranging from Welschriesling and Sauvignon Blanc to Morillon and Weissburgunder. 

The Region

The 546 hectares under vines in the Weststeiermark run from north to south on a narrow strip of mica schists and gneisses. The prevailing Illyrian climate is modified by Mediterranean and Alpine influences and by relatively generous rainfall. Located in the foothills of the Koralpe Range, the vineyards are protected from strong winds; deep valleys and steep slopes articulate the landscape. These climatic and topographical conditions provide abundant warmth during the days, allowing the grapes to ripen to perfection.

Fried chicken with a glass of Schilcher on the side
© ÖWM/Blickwerk Fotografie

Culinary Tip

Classically, the white wines of the Weststeiermark and the region’s marquee player Schilcher are enjoyed alongside the region’s traditional cuisine. You can refresh yourself alongside the cold table of ham, bacon, cheese and spreads with the wine’s vibrant acidity. The Schilcher is also ideal as a companion to the Styrian fried chicken: the crispy breading demands its powerful piquant snap and intense fruit. But with the Schilcher you can go the culinary distance all the way to Indian lamb biryani – and it is comfortable heading even further east. In Japan, Schilcher is considered an insider tip for sushi with salmon, its roe or – more rare in Austria – with sardines.

A picture shows the system of origins in the Steiermark, depicted as a pyramid, © AWMB.
© AWMB

Weststeiermark DAC
as of vintage 2018

Grape varieties: Blauer Wildbacher (as Schilcher), Welschriesling, Weissburgunder, Morillon (Chardonnay), Grauburgunder, Riesling, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc and Traminer, as well as cuvées made from them

Levels:

  • Weststeiermark DAC: submission for control number from 15 January of the year following the harvest; for Welschriesling and Schilcher from 1 December of the harvest year
  • Weststeiermark DAC with indication of municipality: submission for control number from 1 April of the year following the harvest, for Schilcher as of 1 February of the year following the harvest
  • Weststeiermark DAC with indication of vineyard (Ried): submission for control number from      1 April of the year following the harvest, for Schilcher from 1 February of the year following the harvest

Alcohol:

  • Not specified

Residual sugar:

  • Weststeiermark DAC: max. 4.0 g/l; Riesling and Traminer must correspond to the designation ‘trocken’
  • Weststeiermark DAC with indication of municipality: max. 4.0 g/l; Riesling and Traminer must correspond to the designation ‘trocken’
  • Weststeiermark DAC with indication of vineyard: max. 4.0 g/l; Riesling, Gelber Muskateller and Traminer must correspond to the designation ‘trocken’

 

Flavour profile:

  • Not specified

 

Labelling:

  • Weststeiermark DAC: indication of origin (including ‘DAC’) must appear on the primary label (the label showing all obligatory information) and the front label. Indication of the harvest year is obligatory. Schilcher is to be labelled as ‘Schilcher Klassik’.
  • Weststeiermark DAC with indication of municipality: indication of origin (including ‘DAC’) und indication of municipality must appear on the primary label (the label showing all obligatory information) and the front label.
  • Weststeiermark DAC with indication of vineyard: indication of origin (including ‘DAC’) and the name of the vineyard (Ried) must appear on the primary label (the label showing all obligatory information) and the front label.
  • Qualitätswein with regional indication of origin Steiermark may show no more specific geographic attribution than ‘Steiermark’.

Focus varieties for Ortswein:

  • Ligist: Blauer Wildbacher (as Schilcher), Sauvignon Blanc
  • Stainz: Blauer Wildbacher (as Schilcher), Sauvignon Blanc
  • Deutschlandsberg: Blauer Wildbacher (as Schilcher), Sauvignon Blanc
  • Eibiswald: Blauer Wildbacher (as Schilcher), Sauvignon Blanc