Willi Klinger, the head of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWB), launched a comprehensive history of Austrian wine during this year’s Austrian Wine Summit. The book not only covers standard topics like grape varieties and winegrowing techniques, but also examines more controversial subjects.
“More than thirty authors worked to illuminate the long and rich history of Austrian wine in all its facets in this handsome volume,” said Mr Klinger. “For the first time, an authoritative account of the historical and cultural significance of wine in Austria is available in this work.”
The book, Wine in Austria: the History, is the culmination of more than two and a half years of work. Commissioned by Mr Klinger, the book was created under the supervision of Professor Dr Karl Vocelka, a noted historian from the University of Vienna.
The book does not shy away from difficult topics. In one chapter, German journalist Dr Daniel Deckers examines grape vine breeder Dr Friedrich Zweigelt, creator of the Zweigelt grape, whose connections to the Nazis have made him a controversial figure.
“With the presentation of Dr Daniel Deckers’s Zweigelt study, the AWMB makes an important contribution to the reappraisal of the topic,” said Mr Klinger, “and thus provides the political decision makers for the winegrowing sector with the basis for considering the further course of action.”
Another interesting chapter is devoted to the influence upon viticulture exerted by the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy in 1918 and the new border demarcations established at the peace negotiations in the Paris suburbs in 1919.
Wine in Austria is to be published by Brandstätter Verlag in December.