Austria : Styria : Southern Styria
Südsteiermark, Southern Styria, rolls over quite a geological kaleidoscope of soil types: from sand to slate, from marl to fossil-limestone. A warm and moist Mediterranean climate provides excellent conditions for growers who have made their mark on the world-stage with Sauvignon Blanc, driven to extremes of aromaticity by the mineral influence of the various soils. The vegetation season spreads itself out late into the autumn and the nights are cool all along the way.
There are almost 2,000 hectares of vines growing in the wildly romantic landscape of Southern Styria, where the extremely hilly terrain provides most of the hundred-some growers with plenty of exercise as they first cultivate and then harvest their vines.
Other varieties producing idiomatic and tempting wines include Traminer, Muskateller, Welschriesling (no relation, it's the Italico, not the true Rhine Riesling) and Chardonnay, here called Morillon. Current national borders are not always consistent with tradition and history. Untersteiermark, Lower Styria, lies below the Austrian border in Slovenia.
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