The Danube Area

From the Wachau to the west to Vienna, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling with great backbone are dominant. And they are marked by the streams of warm Pannonian air wafting across the Wagram into the side-valleys of the Danube (Strassertal, Kamptal, Kremstal, Traisental...) and finally through the narrow valley of the Wachau, carved deeply by the Danube over thousands of years into the primitive rock of the Bohemian Massif.

A picture shows a landscape in the Wachau area
© AWMB / Gregor Semrad

The characteristic aromas of Danube wines are the result of the big temperature difference which occur during the day and night. These are generated especially during sunny Septembers, whose evenings are blanketed with cool air that makes its way down from the north. The alluring charm of these wines lies in the freshness of the aromas along with the high physiological ripeness resulting from the long vegetation cycle that keeps harvests going well into November. The peach or gooseberry aromas of the steely Riesling, the nutty scent of the longevity-prone Neuburger, the intense grapy bouquet of the Muskateller, the fresh, delicate floweriness of the Weißburgunder and the piquant honey note of the Roter Veltliner are reflections of nature´s breath. Moreover, even with this freshness, the increasing layers of loess soil give to the wines (e.g. from Krems to the east) a creamy texture, which is especially demonstrated in the Grüner Veltliner. And more and more often, the Danube wine-growing regions also yield elegant and fruity red wines. The distinct differences in the terroirs here are being explored and revealed continuously by winemakers as they develop their wines with an emphasis on vineyard typicity.