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The province of Styria with its capital Graz is located in the south-east of Austria. It borders the provinces of Carinthia (SW), Salzburg (W), Upper Austria (N), Lower Austria (N) and Burgenland (E), as well as Slovenia in the south. The Celts practised cultivated viticulture as early as the fourth century BC. As in all of Central Europe, Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) gave new impetus to viticulture. In the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church and its monasteries, especially Rein Abbey of the Cistercian Order, rendered great services to Styrian viticulture. In 1406, 535 places with 6,000 vineyards were already documented. In the 16th century, the area under vines was 35,000 hectares, about eight times larger than today.

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