Austrian wine enthusiasts know the Weinviertel. But nowadays Austria’s largest specified winegrowing region is steadily gaining international recognition as well. With 13,858 hectares under vines, size is certainly a factor, but the success of Weinviertel also lies in the Grüner Veltliner, in its regionally typical Weinviertel DAC and Weinviertel DAC Reserve styles.
Despite a wide range of grape varieties Grüner Veltliner remains the unchallenged leading character of the Weinviertel wine scene: approximately 6.700 hectares do not only represent half of Austria's total area under Grüner Veltliner but also almost half of the quantity worldwide. Nevertheless – and even taking into account all various soil types and great distances between the wine villages – the Weinviertel type of Grüner Veltliner is recognizable from its spicy "peppery" flavor. The association with green, white and, due to higher ripeness also black pepper is complimented by a fruit-driven bouquet and crisp acidity. This characteristic trio made up for the definition of the region-typical Weinviertel DAC from the vintage 2002 on, the first controlled designation of origin in Austria. From the vintage 2009 on, the powerful Weinviertel DAC Reserve exists beside this classic-dry, fresh type.
With an area of 13.858 hectares, Austria's largest winegrowing region stretches from the Danube in the south to the Czech border in the north, from the Manhartsberg in the west to the Slovakian border in the east. Due to various factors – based mainly on climatic influences and geological conditions – the winegrowing region can be divided into three sub-regions, yet one related Veltliner type prevails.
In the western part winegrowing concentrates around the Pulkautal. Veltliner is predominantly cultivated in the vicinity of Retz with its monumental cellars below the historic center and around Röschnitz with its flavor-influencing primary rock formations down to the Manhartsberg. The red wine islands Mailberg, Haugsdorf, Jetzelsdorf and Schrattental also produce classical Weinviertel DAC .
Spicy Weinviertel DAC grows in the northeastern part of the Weinviertel around Poysdorf, Herrnbaumgarten and Schrattenberg. The chalky cliffs of Staatz and Falkenstein mark the northern boundary of the production area and offer excellent conditions for a fruit-driven, mineral Weinviertel DAC .
Further southeast, at the border with the Marchfeld between Auersthal and Mannersdorf, influences of the Pannonian climate are felt and result in a somewhat softer Veltliner style. The classical production area of the Weinviertel DAC also encompasses the area around Wolkersdorf and stretches onto the slopes of the Bisamberg on the outskirts of Vienna.
The Weinviertel DAC is the ideal wine to match various dishes of the Austrian cuisine, from the cold meat varieties served in wine taverns to "Schinkenfleckerln" (pasta with ham) to the Wiener Schnitzel. Equally it is an excellent food companion to classical bistro dishes and Mediterranean treats. Reserve wines however perfectly match sophisticated creative dishes and spicy recipes of the Asian cuisine.
(Weinviertel DAC from 2002 vintage, Weinviertel DAC Reserve from 2009 vintage)
Grape Variety: Grüner Veltliner
Labelling: Designation of Origin (incl. "DAC") has to be declared on the label.