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Austria aims to be world leader

Published:  23 July, 2008

Austrian wants to be the world's leading organic wine producer.

At the last count, there were 467 organic wineries in Austria, accounting for 4% of production. It is predicted that by 2008, 8% of producers will be certified organic.

At a seminar in Rust, the Austrian town famed for its sweet wines, winemaker Werner Michits, said: "We're going to be the leading organic winemaking country in the world."

The country already has the highest organic production in Europe - with around 30% of produce certified.

But it is aware that organic wines don't sell just because they are organic. Willi Klinger, managing director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, said: "Organic isn't enough, it has to be good if not better than the usual offering."

In 2002 380,000hl of organic wine was produced, rising to 652,000hl in 2006.