Domäne Wachau - a region on a quality offensive
Steep vineyards on the Danube, a baroque castle outside Dürnstein, fruit-driven and authentic wines - the Domäne Wachau offers everything and more on the terraces above the lush green cultivated landscape. On 420 hectares between Melk and Krems, a whole host of winegrowers are present on the steep sites - with one goal: to bring the best hand-picked grapes to the Domäne Wachau winery and to sharpen the wine profile of an entire wine region.
Known beyond the borders of Austria, the association of numerous winegrowers and winemakers stands for uncompromising quality in all aspects. The philosophy held by all the people of the winegrowers' association since its founding in 1714 focuses primarily on the authentic character of the wines. Finesse instead of opulence, single site wines instead of mass wine, Grüner Veltliner, Riesling and apricot instead of rapeseed, wheat and corn. Domäne Wachau gets the best that the terroir has to offer and vinifies precise, clear wines with powerful minerality that have led the small area to world fame.
Pannonian climate - ancient soils
The Danube Valley opens to the east and is thus well reached by the Pannonian climate. The warm influence allows grapes to ripen ideally and develop a high sugar content, which eventually results in wines with strong alcohol up to 14% by volume. The acidity is nevertheless preserved, thanks to the fresh winds that pass through the side valleys of the Waldviertel.
The soils of the Wachau appear like a patchwork quilt - deep soils alternate with shallow ones exposed to direct sunlight. Other patches, however, lie in the shade almost all day. Primary rock soils with goat and granite as well as loess soils and sand characterize the steep vineyards, whose terraces offer about 1500 hectares for viticulture.
Single vineyards with individual character
The top wines of Domäne Wachau come from the top single vineyard sites on the imposing terraces above the Danube. Strictly limited and equipped with their very own character, the wines bear not only the quality level and the coat of arms of Domäne Wachau but also illustrious names of the vineyards (Lagen) on the label:
The core wines of the domain bring the character of the Wachau authentically to the point. The terraced wines, on the other hand, form a harmony of different vineyards. They come from the smallest vineyards on primary rock, whose yields would be too low for individual vinification. Terrassen Cuvées from Domäne Wachau are vinified in the Vinea Wachau quality grades "Steinfeder", "Federspiel" and "Smaragd", which are backed by strict guidelines and the utmost care.
The Wachau quality brands
The three brands "Steinfeder", "Federspiel" and "Smaragd" guarantee the secured origin, constant controls as well as close-to-nature viticulture. Coveted worldwide and available only in small numbers, the wines of Domäne Wachau are ambassadors of good taste and Austrian wine. Therefore, nothing is left to chance when it comes to quality:
The name Steinfeder comes from the Steinfeder grass, which sticks out of the ground almost everywhere between vines and stone terraces. Typical for the Steinfeder wines from the domain are the vital lightness, exquisite fruit and an alcohol content of up to 11.5% by volume.
The dry Federspiel wines with an alcohol content of up to 12.5% by volume, which take their names from falconry, are more full-bodied. A Federspiel dummy is used to attract and train the birds by attaching a piece of food to a long string and whirling it through the air. There is no need to lure wine lovers with a Federspiel, they will come on their own.
What sounds like a gemstone actually refers to the emerald lizard that makes itself at home on the sun-warmed stones of the terraces. Only the best wines with an alcohol content of over 12.5% by volume receive the Smaragd quality seal. This concludes ideal ripeness of the grapes, which are harvested very late, and natural concentration. The aging of a wine of the quality level Smaragd is up to 6 years. The often dry Smaragd wines from Domäne Wachau are world-class and therefore particularly valuable.
The cellars of Domäne Wachau
Huge stainless steel tanks and ornate wooden barrels line the spacious winery. Here, the high-quality wines are vinified in a reductive and controlled manner. They lie on the yeast for a long time and experience only a few interventions. For friends of the special, something is ready in the ancient cellar of Domäne Wachau - even if only in small quantities. Clay amphorae, concrete eggs, granite barrels and an obelisk made of marble for vinification. Wines from these containers are rare and therefore highly sought after by wine enthusiasts. But those who do not want to do without intense, multi-layered and unfiltered enjoyment are well advised to go for the Riesling Amphora.
A visit to the Domäne Wachau
Our visit to the renowned Domäne Wachau once again confirmed what we always knew. Wines from the Wachau, be it Grüner Veltliner, Riesling or even Zweigelt, convince through finesse and the local terroir. If you too have a trip to the Wachau on your mind, why not start with the wines of the Domäne Wachau, which authentically brings you closer to the character of the vineyards above the Danube in the glass. Whether Federspiel from single vineyards, magnificent cuvées from various terraces, or wines aged in amphorae and left in their natural state - Domäne Wachau has everything a wine connoisseur's heart desires.
More information aboutDomäne Wachau
|Company Name:||Domäne Wachau|
|Contact & Web|
|Telephone:||+43 (02711) 371|
|Fax:||+43 (02711) 371 - 13|
|Year of Incorporation:||1714|
|Managing Director:||Roman Horvath|
|Vineyard Area:||420 ha|
|Cultivated Vineyards:||Kollmitz, Kaiserberg, Axpoint, Achleiten, Kellerberg|
|Average Annual Yield in kg/ ha:||5.000|