Austria's Erste Lage dilemma

Michael Moosbrugger at Schloss Grafenegg 2023

Austrian winegrowers may be focused on the harvest but the new law has given them plenty to think about. Above, Michael Moosbrugger at this year's Single Vineyard Summit at Schloss Grafenegg.

In August this year, Austria’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry signed the Wine Law Collective Decree, laying the basis for a legal recognition of the terms Erste Lage and Grosse Lage, terms equivalent to premier and grand cru, respectively.

Prior to this decision, the term Erste Lage was used only by members of the Österreichischer Traditionsweingüter (ÖTW), the private winegrowers’ association established in Krems 30 years ago by a group...