Domäne Wachau is a member of the Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus, the appellation protection association of the Wachau. Members must adhere to extremely strict quality standards. Even chaptalization is not permitted, in contrast to many other wine-growing areas, in order to preserve the unique quality profile of white wines from the Wachau There are three quality categories for dry white wines from Wachau that are classified according to their alcohol content weight:
A decorative, feathery grass found only in the meagre primary rock sites of the Wachau lends this wine category its name. Delicate fruit and multiple fragrant aromas are found in a wine with no more than 11% alcohol. These wines are ideal as light, refreshing aperitifs or to pair with starters and cold buffets, or simply as a party wine or classic summer beverage.
The name “Federspiel” comes from falconry, a historic regional sport of the aristocrats. The “Federspiel” was used to lure the falcon back with its prey. These wines are best known for their diversity and combine the elegant refreshing nature of a Steinfeder with the depth of fruit of a Smaragd. Their fruity, refreshing elegance makes these wines ideal to pair with meat and fish dishes - classic Austrian character that is ideal for many hours of enjoyment.
The striking emerald lizard that suns itself on the dry stone terrace walls of the Wachau is the patron of this wine category. Dry, concentrated, complex wines of unique Wachau finesse, a minimum alcohol content of 12.5%, and tremendous aging potential are the attributes of Smaragd wines. A mature Smaragd is not only a noble accompaniment to grand cuisine, but also a wine for special occasions or meditative hours.