From the Wachau in the west to Vienna, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling with firm structure are the dominant expressions. These wines bear the influence 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 into the primordial rock of the Bohemian Massif by the Danube River over countless thousands of years.
The characteristic aromas of Danubian wines are shaped in part by the substantial temperature-swings that occur between day and night, especially during sunny Septembers, when the 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 their aromas coupled with the advanced physiologic ripeness that results from the long vegetation cycle, which keeps harvests going well into November.
The peach or green apple aromas of the steely Riesling, the nutty scent of the long-lived Neuburger, the intense grapey bouquet of the Muskateller, the fresh, delicate florality of the Weissburgunder and the piquant honied note of the Roter Veltliner are all manifestations of nature’s breath. Moreover, even with this freshness, the deepening layers of loess soil give the wines (e.g. from Krems and to the east) a creamy texture, which is especially evident in the Grüner Veltliner. And more and more often, the Danubian winegrowing regions also yield elegant and fruity red wines. The distinct differences in the terroirs here are being explored and revealed continuously by winegrowers, as they develop their portfolios with an increasing emphasis on vineyard typicity.