Rolling hills, Pannonian climate and unspoiled nature embody the diversity of the Vulkanland.
The winegrowing region Vulkanland Steiermark is not a contiguous area in which the vineyards of the various hills and valleys are connected, as is the case in the Südsteiermark; it is rather a region made up of a few small & medium-sized islands.
Widely diverse, the varieties that grow here…
A considerable variety of grapevines grows on the 1,524 hectares of Vulkanland Steiermark. Friends of the Traminer find here in Klöch a large area planted – and old vines as well. In Straden and environs, Grauburgunder is cultivated as the primary variety – with very satisfying results.
In terms of vineyard area, Welschriesling stands at the top of the list with 310 hectares. This is followed by parcels of Weissburgunder, with 239 hectares. The white varieties are rounded-out with Sauvignon Blanc (108 ha), Morillon (92 ha), Gelber Muskateller (66 ha) and Riesling (23 ha). The red variety Zweigelt, with about 77 hectares, occupies third place in terms of area. All of the white varieties just listed are marketed as Vulkanland Steiermark, while the reds are sold with the denomination of origin Steiermark.
While many medium-sized and large establishment are to be found in the Südsteiermark, growers in Vulkanland Steiermark often cultivate vines as a sideline and sell their wines in their own Buschenschanken. This engenders an agreeable & lively regional wine culture, which particularly benefits the locals themselves.
Vulkanland Steiermark owes its name to the geology in the south of the region and its extinct volcanoes – a unique feature among Austria’s winegrowing regions. A great many of the vines grows on varying deposits left by the Paratethys Sea and the long-since dried-up lakes and rivers of the Styrian Basin, as well as upon quaternary terrace gravels.
Volcanic rock occurs in Vulkanland as tuff and basalt. Tuff is a material that was launched explosively out of volcanoes millions of years ago, which then fell to earth as a precipitate of larger and smaller substances called pyroclasts and as ash rain, which solidified over time to become rock, mostly porous. Basalt, on the other hand, is cooled magma, liquid rock from the interior of the earth, which cooled down after emerging, solidified into a dense and hardened form, forming a new layer of rock and soil.
The climate of Vulkanland Steiermark is characterized by the transition from the hot & dry Pannonian climate to the warm & humid, Illyrian Mediterranean climate. The region borders Slovenia in the south and Burgenland to the east. Across these borders, hot winds from the Pannonian steppes reach far into the south of Vulkanland Steiermark – thus the region is also the warmest of all Styrian winegrowing real estate, and thus predestined for the production of red wines.