Oostenrijk is voor wat het slechte klimaat in 2017 betreft de dans ontsprongen. Er kwam meer van de wijngaarden dan gemiddeld de laatste vijf jaar: 2.6 miljoen hectoliter. En daarmee behoorde het land tot de hoge uitzonderingen, want de wereldwijnproductie liep juist terug. De Wine Marketing Board meldt vanuit Wenen:
While worldwide 2017 saw the lowest level of wine production in years, Austria was able to record a harvest that was very good in terms of quality and also blessed by abundant volume. The yield of 2.6 million hl (according to October’s third harvest estimate) amounted to a quarter above the five-year average, which will go a long way to filling cellars that in many places have been rather empty. True, there were late frosts in 2017 as well as hailstorms, but both caused substantially less damage than in the previous year. Only the Weinviertel experienced a more modest harvest compared with the average, due to extremely arid conditions in one of the hottest summers in a long time.
Ripening was two weeks ahead of schedule and the harvest had already begun early, but after a third of the picking was done, rain in the subsequent month put a pause in the proceedings. 2017’s cool and occasionally wet September led yet again to an unwelcome caesura in the harvest, but by contrast, October was more obliging, so that the greater part of the wine harvest was already concluded by the middle of the month. The high quality of the grapes also made possible the increase of the maximum yield per hectare on the national level, to the full 20% allowed by law, so that producers affected by the previous year’s shortfall were able to at least partly balance out their losses.
In Austria’s cellars the gratifying quality of the grape material this year made for mostly uneventful vinification, which nevertheless required keenly focussed work. For it is true that many fermentations have their own unique character, which demands keeping a close eye on the process in order to intervene in time should it become necessary. Along with notable varietal aromaticity and clear fruit profiles, the wines are already showing lovely concentration and substance on the palate, which on one hand makes them enjoyable in their infancy, while on the other hand raises hopes for favourable further development over the course of the élevage