The main grape varieties grown are
- Sauvignon Blanc 19%
- Welschriesling 17%
- Weißburgunder as well as Chardonnay/Morillon 15%
- Müller Thurgau 9%
- Zweigelt 9%
Southern Styria has the most beautiful countryside imaginable with lots of steep hills popping up randomly in every direction. The grapevines are mainly planted on aerated limestone, sand and gravel soils, which retain less water and therefore provide ideal growing conditions. As the steep slopes make mechanical harvesting impossible, all the grapes have to be picked by hand. Southern Styria is a relatively cool climate region for growing Sauvignon Blanc and so special attention needs to be paid to the canopy management. Per season you have to go through the vineyards three to five times in order to prune the vines, trim the vine branches as they grow, thin out grape clusters and eliminate leaves close to the bunches to increase exposure to the sun and also to improve the airflow around the bunches.
Southern Styria is the largest wine growing region in Styria comprising a vineyard area of approximately 2200 hectares. Numerous white wines of first-class quality are produced here. The most important wine villages are Berghausen, Eichberg-Trautenburg, Gamlitz, Glanz, Ratsch, Spielfeld and Sulztal. The main varieties grown are Welschriesling and Sauvignon Blanc (the latter is rarely grown elsewhere in Austria). Other varieties grown are Weißburgunder and Morillon (Chardonnay), the early-ripening Müller-Thurgau as well as Traminer and Gewürztraminer. Muskateller is another variety typical of the region.
The favourable microclimate, cool nights, warm days in autumn and a good water supply result in vibrant wines, displaying a distinct character that typifies the region.
In Southern Styria you will find two main wine styles – young, fresh and fruity wines with rather low alcohol content (Steirische Klassik) and intense, powerful high-quality terroir wines with great ageing potential (Lagenweine).