Huegelland_Steiermark_Weingarten_Vulkanland | © Winzer Vulkanland Steiermark

Wine region Vulkanland Steiermark

Once called Südoststeiermark, the wine region's new name 'Vulkanland Steiermark' (Volcano Country Steiermark) already speaks for itself. But it is not only the soil that distinguishes this region from others; it also manifests considerable differences in terms of climate.


When the earth poured forth fire

Vulkanland Steiermark encompasses the districts Hartberg-Fürstenfeld, Südoststeiermark, and Weiz, as well as some municipalities left of the river Mur which belong to the political districts Graz-Umgebung and Leibnitz and is one of Steiermark's subregions. A recent municipal reform resulting in the creation of the new district Südoststeiermark led to the wine region's name change, in order to avoid confusion, since the actual area is considerably larger than this single district. And additionally, the name 'Vulkanland' had already been well established and known through other agricultural products.

As the name indicates, the soil counts among the region's distinguishing characteristics. It was a long time ago that the earth opened its sluices. Two periods are responsible for the prevalence of volcanic soils in eastern Styria. The Gleichenberger Kogel and the Schaufelgraben in Bairisch Kölldorf emerged approximately 17-12 million years ago (Miocene). Traces of 40 volcanic vents can be seen today, dating back to the time of early volcanic activity (Pliocene and Pleistocene). The Klöcher massif was formed due to outpourings of Java 2.6 million years ago, while the Stradner Kogel is some 1.71 million years of age and the Steinberg von Mühldorf 2.6 million years. Precious treasures, such as Olivine - a rock composition encountered at a depth of 60 metres - are embedded in the volcanic tuffs, found in Fehring, Kapfenstein and Feldbach.

Volcanic rock appears in different formations; in some instances as tuff and other times as basalt. Simply put, tuff is congealed volcanic material, composed of fragments blown into the air during an eruption. Tuff is coarse-pored and can either be quite hard or so soft that you can crumble it with your bare band. Basalt is solidified magma - liquid stone from the Earth's interior - which cools down after discharge. There is still a basalt plant in Klöch today, providing material for the substructure of railways.

Weinkeller_Gewoelbe_Schluessel_Tuer | © Winzer Vulkanland Steiermark

Soils and rocks in Vulkanland Steiermark

In the Styrian wine country one finds most different soil qualities, which affect favourably in each case on special wine and grape varieties. The wine growing region Vulkanland Steiermark is mainly characterised by basalt, tuff, fossil limestone and hard limestone.

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Basalt

Very hard volcanic rock, coming from the depths of the Earth. Primarily found in the neighbourhood of Klöch.

 

 

 

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Tuff

Also of volcanic origin, but more porous than basalt. Frequently encountered as scattered patches in the ground.

 

 

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Fossil limestone

There used to be an ocean here. Limestone is a favoured soil for the Pinot family. Here, Weissburgunder is particularly widespread.

 

 

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Hard limestone

The harder version, primarily composed of the minerals calcite and aragonite.