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Austrian wine is some of the best made in the world – a fact that is increasingly recognised worldwide as wine lovers, and especially sommeliers, come to value its dry, full-bodied, characterful whites that pair so well with many foods. They can also develop well in bottle. Austria probably has the world’s strictest wine regulations, and its wine producers are making some of the world’s purest, highest-quality white wines, which range from dry and piercing to sweet and racy. Reds are coming on apace. DAC is a relatively new initiative designed to emulate France's appellation contrôlée system by emphasising geographical provenance over a particular, geographically determined style of a specified vine variety. Weinviertel Grüner Veltliner was the first combination to be regulated and Weinviertel DAC may now be applied only to light, crackling GV. Many others have followed.

In a nutshell

Reliably high winemaking quality. Great dry Rieslings, Grüner Veltliners, reliably botrytised sweet wines and improving reds.