The Domäne Wachau vineyards are found throughout the Wachau on the steep dry stone terraces on both sides of the Danube River.
A discerning eye can already predict the high quality of the wines just by looking at the vineyards. Oenologist Heinz Frischengruber works together closely with the numerous grape producers to ensure quality. The costs of cultivating wines on the terraced slopes are many times greater than on the valley floor. If one also considers the extremely low average yield of 5,000 kg/ha, one can understand why vineyard cultivation in the Wachau is five times higher than in flat regions where mechanization is possible.
The dry stone walls of the terraced vineyards are an essential part of the terroir in the Wachau. These walls were constructed from natural rock and rubble without the help of cement mortar. The manual placement of each rock for this unique work of construction requires much experience and sensitivity.
The Domäne Wachau initiated a quality assurance concept in its prime vineyard “Kellerberg” several years ago. From this, a reward system has been developed in which co-op members of Wachau’s leading winery may voluntarily participate and through holistic and sustainable methods ensure fruit and thus wine quality.
Close observation and objective, transparent analysis of the vineyards lead to premium prices for fruit for participating grape growers. In addition to this, the preservation of natural resources is taken seriously and preventative measures reduce the need for plant protection preparations. This has motivated enthusiasm among the members of the Domäne Wachau cooperative.
The predominant grape variety at Domäne Wachau is Grüner Veltliner and makes up 55% of the vineyard area. This variety has achieved international recognition as one of the world’s great white wine varieties. There is also no other wine-growing area in Austria that boasts a higher share of Riesling and the vineyard share of this variety is 18%. Neuburger is a regional specialty for which Domäne Wachau is the largest producer world-wide. Rivaner, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Muskateller are further important white wine varieties. Red wine varieties make up 6% with Blauer Zweigelt, St. Laurent and Pinot Noir playing the leading role.