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The STK is proud to present two new members

Ten years of vineyard classification in the Steiermark

06.11.2018

Ten years ago the winegrowers’ association Steirische Terroir- & Klassikweingüter (STK) began to undertake the classification of their vineyards. Within a decade, these ten estates (Gross, Lackner-Tinnacher, Neumeister, Maitz, Polz, E. Sabathi, H. Sabathi, Sattlerhof, Tement and Winkler-Hermaden) have brought about a massive sea change in the self-concept of Styrian wine, thanks to their stringent regulations concerning quality and expression of origins.

stk_gruppe_erweitert_2018_c_anna_stoecher
The members of the "Steirische Terroir- und Klassikweingüter": f. l. Polz, Frauwallner, Sattler, Wohlmuth, Gross, Tement, Maitz, E. Sabathi, Neumeister, Lackner-Tinnacher, Winkler-Hermaden and H. Sabathi (c) Anna Stöcher

A lot has happened since the STK was founded
The joint effort to focus on outstanding vineyard sites has led to a steady development of the most prestigious and highly regarded wines.
Thus, the proportion of wines designated with the Prädikat »Erste STK Riede« or »Grosse STK Riede« has risen among these estates from 18% to 24%. The fact that this has also caused an international sensation can be seen in the sales department as well. The export percentage at STK estates was twelve per cent in 2007; today they export one quarter of their production.

How does a vineyard site become designated »Erste STK Riede« or »Grosse STK Riede«?
To distinguish their best vineyard sites, the STK winegrowers have established very strict criteria:
• It must be a sloped site running from east to west, with a very favourable microclimate.
• The vines must be at least twelve (Erste STK) or fifteen (Grosse STK) years old.
• The yield per hectare may be no more than 4500 litres, far below the legal limit.
• The grapes must be harvested selectively by hand.
• The wines must be allowed adequate time to develop in the cellar – Erste STK wines are released at the earliest in September twelve months after the harvest, while Grosse STK wines must mature in the cellar for at least eighteen months.
• Potential for aging is a crucial feature: Erste STK wines must demonstrate at least five years aging potential, and Grosse STK wines at least ten years.
• In addition to this, cultivation in harmony with nature is guaranteed

stk_grosse_ried_saziani_straden_2018_c_neumeister.jpg
Grosse STK Riede Saziani (c) Neumeister

Two new members
Two estates have just achieved unanimous acceptance into the circle of the STK. The Wohlmuth Estate now brings a geologic and climatic extension to the group, with its wines from the Sausal district in the Südsteiermark. Walter Frauwallner’s estate from the eastern Styrian volcanic region is the second newcomer that the STK winegrowers presented at their press conference on 6 November in Vienna’s restaurant Steirereck. Erwin Sabathi comments: ‘We see this expansion as a great enrichment and look forward to the cooperation and the new input’.

The new members: Gerhard Wohlmuth and Walter Frauwallner (c) Anna Stöcher

Steiermark DAC
The Steiermark recently unveiled its DAC regulations. The STK winegrowers were intimately involved with the development of the regulations of origin, bringing much helpful experience to the process. ‘The DAC guidelines furnish a basis for the vineyard classification being applied in the future to the entire Steiermark’, explains Katharina Tinnacher. ‘We want to ensure that the classification is open to all wine producers and that it is made solid from the legal standpoint. The goal is that of achieving higher market positioning for the entire Steiermark; we see ourselves as the pioneers and heralds’.

About STK:
The Steirische Terroir- & Klassikweingüter (Frauwallner /Gross / Lackner-Tinnacher / Neumeister / Wolfgang Maitz / Polz / Erwin Sabathi / Hannes Sabathi / Sattlerhof / Tement / Winkler-Hermaden / Wohlmuth) are figured among the top wine estates in all of Austria, and are also quite well known beyond the borders of the country for their traditional, elegant white wines. Ten years ago, they began to undertake the classification of the vineyards in the Steiermark, and have since then brought about an appreciable upswing in the quality of Styrian wine, adhering to strict standards with regard to origins and quality.

Additional information about the Steirische Terroir- & Klassikweingüter can be found at:
www.stk-wein.at

Detailed and comprehensive data on the subject of the 6 November press conference, including an initial evaluation of the 2018 vintage can be found here: https://bit.ly/stk2018e

Press contact:
Andrea Schultes, Wine&Partners, a.schultes@wine-partners.at or Mobil: +43 664 619 00 20