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Why Austrian Winemakers Produce an Annual Lingerie Calendar

October is here, which means pumpkin-spiced foods nobody asked for and, of course, Austria's Young Female Winemakers Calendar.

October is finally here, and with it comes an onslaught of pumpkin-spiced foods that nobody asked for, decorative gourds all over the flat surfaces of your grandmother's house, and of course, the Jungwinzerinnen Kalender—Young Female Winemakers Calendar—Austria's answer to the Sports Illustrated issue (sort of).

The calendar, now in its 13th year, features pinups of the country's, well, "female winemakers" as they pose seductively in lingerie atop oak barrels or in the path of an oncoming tractor (watch out!), often with fingers seductively laced around a glass of red. Or at least that's the implicit suggestion there in the name. In actuality, the 12 calendar girls are plucked from a pool of "winemaker daughters, sisters, nieces, wives, winery employees, and winemakers themselves."


The eye-rolling or perhaps even indignation that a lingerie calendar of American winemakers' daughters (and employees) might spark seems to be absent in Austria. In fact, the Jungwinzerinnen Kalender is a beloved marketing tool in this storied European wine country, with its models serving as ambassadors.

The calendar with a cult following is an annual tradition first dreamt up by Austria's Ellen Ledermüller-Reiner in 2004. Neither a winemaker nor next-of-kin of one herself, Ledermüller-Reiner wanted to draw attention to her homeland's rich cornucopia of wines and happened to be the head of a marketing consulting firm, so voila!

READ MORE: This Austrian Winemaker Is Using Music to Ferment His Wines

The '04 and '05 calendars originally had plenty of male models for connoisseurs to feast their eyes upon as well, but in 2006 the switch was made to solely feature women.

Lest we take this all too seriously, it's important to note that 2017's Young Winemakers Calendar T-shirt for sale features plenty of leg in front of sweeping vista of Austrian wine country.