The project for the certification of Weinviertel wine producers according to the Weinviertel Quality Standard is the first comprehensive quality management system of its type that is customized to the producers of a region.
The Weinviertel Quality Standard is a unique role model in Europe and a new type of certification system that is also simultaneously a practical manual that provides the greatest possible support and assistance to vintners. Weinviertel producers are assessed in their entirety, stringently evaluated, and receive a certificate after a successful audit. The ultimate goal is to incorporate all the existing rules and regulations used in the wineries and integrate them with the legal requirements and equip producers to adapt them to changing market conditions.
Special Attention was given the Following Points:
- Optimal support and consultation for the producers
- Clear understanding of the standard and motivation for the participating producers
- Objectivity of the evaluation
- Transparency and transmissibility up and down
- Practical and easy implementation
- Communicability to the consumer
- Public image effect
- Further expansion of the Weinviertel’s pioneering position
What Requirements are Demanded of Producers?
Key to the Weinviertel Quality Standard is that not just individual sectors of an enterprise are checked and analysed, but that reviewing the entirety is crucial. The main focus is always on wine quality. The following graphic gives an overview of the sectors that are evaluated.
This sector focuses primarily on grape production and the harvest. Records of the vineyard work, control of the vineyards, and the determination of the harvest time are most relevant. Assessment is based largely on existing documentations such as the cellar book.
Traceability is verified according to legal requirements in the framework of product safety. For example, compliance with HACCP guidelines is examined. Assessment of wine quality considers the proportion of quality wines and Weinviertel DAC wines in the enterprise as well as participation in wine fairs and competitions.
Many records can be taken from existing records such as the cellar book, analyses of young wines, storage and bottling documentations.
Special attention is given cellar technology and correct implementation of various processes.
Examples are building consumer awareness with appropriate tools such as brochures, price lists, wine descriptions, packaging, media work, trade fair presence and sales.
Service quality and customer care as a whole (ordering, dispatch, complaint handling) are the primary concerns. The infrastructure (signage, sales room, etc.) represents only a small area.
Every sector is evaluated. The sum of all points must achieve a minimum number for a positive audit result. The audit is conducted by independent, external auditors from the DLG Testservice GmbH Germany, who bring great experience and success in this field. The Weinviertel Regional Wine Committee and the Institute for Marketing and Innovation at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna worked together to develop the Weinviertel Quality Standard to ensure and increase the high quality of wine and service. The Weinviertel Quality Standard is a good tool for consumer orientation in finding best wine quality.