Jancis Robinson reviews Dürnstein’s game changer

Probably one of the world’s best known wine writers, Jancis Robinson has taken a very close look at the current situation in the Wachau and the region’s wines. She reveals how dramatically styles have changed – for the better. Domäne Wachau is playing a key role.

Jancis Robinson and her team put out a newsletter that reaches hundreds of thousands of wine lovers all over the world. It is thus a tremendous sign of recognition that she puts a picture of our vintner families upfront at the head of this newsletter. What follows is a detailed description of the current situation in Austria’s best-known wine region, and the role Domäne Wachau plays in the area.

Paula Sidore, the author of the article published on Robinson’s web portal, points out how we have had a domino effect on other vintners in the region, more and more shifting the Wachau’s focus toward the need to practice a more respectful partnership with nature. The article reports the main changes stemming from our philosophy in recent years, such as achieving the Sustainable Austria certificate in 2018, our exclusion of insecticides and herbicides, and the conversion to organic cultivation, now encompassing 130 ha of vineyards including extremely steep gradients.

Simon J. Woolf is another high-profile wine writer in the current scene. Writing in Trink Magazine, he interprets the various steps taken by Domäne Wachau as a natural response to the challenge raised by climate change. With summer temperatures consistently rising, causing dry conditions, vintners need to take targeted action. In his view, exactly this has been the response at Domäne Wachau: vintners here are able to harvest grapes with an excellent balance, thanks to manual labour and advanced techniques for tending foliage and working the soil.

It is highly gratifying when Mr Wolf refers to us as a “force for change”, and Ms Robinson describes how we have played a leading role in driving style change. Such encouragement convinces us to pursue our long-term vision, of bottling subtle and delicate wines sparkling with elegance that witness to the Wachau and the tremendous potential lying in our region.