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Great wines along the Danube

Niederösterreich is Austria's largest Qualitätswein-producing area. This designation stands for a big variety of different wine styles of international and indigenous grape varieties. There are eight specified winegrowing regions in Niederösterreich, reaching from the Wachau in the west to Carnuntum in the east. These can be divided into three major climatic zones: the Weinviertel in the north, the region along the Danube river, with its adjoining valleys to the west of Vienna, and the warmer Pannonian part in the southeast of Niederösterreich.

Vineyard area

28.145 ha

A picture shows vineyards in Niederösterreich
© AWMB / Herbert Lehmann

The expansive Weinviertel region made headlines in 2003, after the region decided to market its signature variety, the peppery Grüner Veltliner, using the term "Weinviertel". Since then, the Weinviertel DAC designation on the label guarantees a peppery-spiced, fresh style of Grüner Veltliner in the wine glass. More powerful wines come under the Weinviertel DAC Reserve designation. The Weinviertel's wide range of fresh, aromatic white wines, fruit-driven red wines and even dessert wines now bear the "Niederösterreich" designation of origin.

Along the Danube, from Melk in the west downstream to Klosterneuburg to the east, passing the Kamp, Traisen and Krems tributaries, are picturesque wine villages lined like pearls on a necklace.Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are the flagship wines of this area with both varieties displaying their regional typicity also in Kremstal DAC , Kamptal DAC and Traisental DAC . The steep crystalline slopes of the Wachau evolve into loess terraces towards the eastern part of the adjacent Kremstal, which  also form the character of the wines in parts of Traisental and Kamptal, but particularly in Wagram, where Roter Veltliner has become another regional asset alongside Grüner Veltliner. In Kamptal, the wines contain a distinctive touch, particularly on the Heiligenstein, with its conglomerate and carbonate-free soil. In this part of Niederösterreich, the range of wines are rounded off with specialities like the Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Chardonnay as well as a select range of elegant red wines.

On the Pannonian end of Niederösterreich, south and east of Vienna, some of Austria's most outstanding red wines are grown, with Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch in Carnuntum providing the basis for DAC wines of remarkable character. Regionally typical white wines are vinified here from Chardonnay, Weissburgunder or Grüner Veltliner. In the Thermenregion, Pinot Noir and Sankt Laurent set the tone for red wine. The white varieties Zierfandler and Rotgipfler are specialties found almost exclusively in this region. Modern cuvées round out the variety of great wines produced in Niederösterreich.





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