The Thermenregion wine-growing region was formed as part of the 1985 wine law, when the districts of Gumpoldskirchen and Bad Vöslau were amalgamated. The 2,181 hectares of vines stretch from the edge of the Wienerwald forests, around the outskirts of Vienna and southwards along a range of hills and the Anninger mountain (675m) to beyond the town of Baden. In the northern part, around the village of Gumpoldskirchen, white wine thrives with the indigenous Zierfandler (or Spätrot) and Rotgipfler varieties, whereas red wines produced from Sankt Laurent and Pinot Noir are predominant in the more southerly vineyards.
Vines have been cultivated in this climatically favourable region south of Vienna for over 2,000 years. Roman legionnaires stationed in Carnuntum and Vindobona (in today's Vienna) introduced viticulture into the Pannonian region and cultivated vines brought from their own countries. The Thermenregion takes its name from the thermal, sulphuric water springs from 'Thermae Pannonicae', or today's Baden. The Cistercian monks revitalised viticulture during the Middle Ages, and the design of the vineyard sites, as well as the character of the villages, visibly resemble the Citeaux Abbey of the Cistercians in Burgundy.
The Cistercian monks were viticultural experts in their own right, and recognised and made use of the region's unique terroir. The vines benefit from the effects of the Pannonian climate, with its hot summer and dry autumns, and an average of 1,800 hours of sunshine during the year. During the autumn, there is a continuous circulation of air in the grape vines, rapidly drying the berries after dew or rain.
Loamy soil derived from fine-grained deposits dominates, however, areas with increased coarse fraction are common. These are mainly consolidated or unconsolidated gravel and sand with a high carbonate content and fossil remains of mussels, snails and other marine creatures. Talus deposits encourage drainage and retain warmth. The Steinfeld vineyard, with its barren gravel soils, offers the perfect prerequisites for fine red wines.
The region is home to white grape varieties rarely found elsewhere, and the Zierfandler (Spätrot) and Rotgipfler varieties can be vinified individually or as the legendary blend known as Spätrot-Rotgipfler. Other traditionally cultivated varieties include the Blauer Portugieser (or Vöslauer) along with Neuburger, and more modern wines are cultivated using the Pinot varieties, St. Laurent and Zweigelt, as well as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Red wine-producing villages include Bad Vöslau, Sooß, Tattendorf and Teesdorf, whereas the traditional white wine-growing areas are around Perchtoldsdorf, Gumpoldskirchen, Pfaffstätten, Baden, Guntramsdorf and Traiskirchen.
The combination of nature and culture offer a wide selection of excursions and activities, including a visit to the Freigut Thallern, (founded by the Cistercian monks of Heiligenkreuz Abbey, and being one of the oldest wineries in Austria). Or perhaps a cultural visit to the spa-town of Baden, with its theatres, operettas, health spas (with grape treatment on offer as well) to a drive along the romantic 'Weinstraße', the road that meanders through the vineyards, making a stop at one of the many cosy 'Heuriger' wine taverns, or to take a hike up to the hilltops along the original Viennese Imperial water pipeline (I. Wiener Hochquellenleitung).