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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Tim Atkin MW

Austria has introduced its first DAC (Districtus Austria Controllatus) wine, a Grner Veltliner from the Weinviertel region. As predicted in Harpers' Austrian Supplement (February), the new appellation system has been launched to emphasise origin over grape variety. The words Grner Veltliner will appear on the labels of the 400 producers who have released wines under the Weinviertel DAC, but may be dropped in the future. Michael Thurner, director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, told Harpers: Grner Veltliner is an Austrian flagship, but it's also planted in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. We don't want to build up a brand only to have someone steal it. The Weinviertel, on the other hand, will always be Austrian. Grape varieties are transportable, but not appellations.' The idea is to focus on one wine from each of Austria's regions, starting with the Weinviertel and probably continuing with Mittelburgenland (and the Blaufrnkisch grape) from the 2003 vintage. The introduction of DAC wines is designed to combine a denomination of origin with a clear profile of taste and other characteristics,' added Thurner. Only if consumers can get an idea of the taste of the wine by looking at the label will we get a competitive advantage in the long run,' he said.