In this region, the vineyards are divided between two distinctly different zones. The first zone, north of the Danube, lies directly to the east of the Kamptal, where the "Wagram" (a vast terrace of land) stretches eastwards around 30 km. The second zone, south of the Danube, home to the small wine villages of the Tulln Basin, as well as the historic wine-growing town of Klosterneuburg, is just a stone's throw away from Vienna.
The natural environment in the northern part of the Wagram wine-growing region displays a uniform geological and climatic profile, which presents the best possible conditions for the vinification of rich, aromatic wines. In many vineyards, the substratum of alluvial gravels and sedimentary marine deposits (“Wagram” being derived from the word “Wogenrain”, roughly translating as “surfside”) is covered by loess, which was blown here during the ice ages and has since played a significant role in shaping the landscape. From the 2021 vintage onwards, regionally typical wines can be labelled as “Wagram DAC”. The region’s diversity is demonstrated by its Gebietswein (regional wine) and Ortswein (“villages” wine). The white wines, which are often shaped by their loess soils, are admired for their subtle spiciness. Some of Niederösterreich’s richest red wines are also produced by the leading wineries here, specifically from Zweigelt, Sankt Laurent and Blauburgunder. These wines can also be labelled “Wagram DAC” at the Gebietswein level and, in some cases, at the Ortswein level.
The top tier of the origin pyramid is represented by the region’s Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine), which is where Grüner Veltliner, Roter Veltliner and Riesling truly shine. Most notably, Grüner Veltliner matures into hearty, spicy wines that unite substance with drinkability. Wagram Riesling displays clear, intense fruit notes and good acidity. The autochthonous variety Roter Veltliner produces elegant and distinctive white wines, which have good ageing potential if yields are kept low.
However, there’s more to this region than dry wines! The sweet wine segment is well represented with Eiswein, produced in the environmentally conscious municipality of Großriedenthal and sold under the designation of origin “Niederösterreich”.
The self-assurance of successful winegrowers rubs off on the whole of Wagram and provides a motivational boost for improving quality on a broader basis, supported by tourism and the hospitality industries, which are also of key importance to the region. The villages of Feuersbrunn, Fels, Kirchberg (location of the regional vinotheque Weritas) and Großriedenthal are home to several dedicated wineries. Many years ago, these wineries were some of the region’s best-kept secrets, but this is no longer the case today!
Klosterneuburg: the crossroads of wine, fine food and culture
The wine-growing industry in and around Klosterneuburg looks back on a long, successful past – and the future looks just as bright here, too. This is the location of the Höhere Bundeslehranstalt für Wein- und Obstbau (Federal College for Viticulture, Oenology and Fruit Growing), the world’s first school of viticulture (founded in 1860). The college teaches the next generation about wine on an international level and conducts pioneering research. Klosterneuburg Abbey is one of the largest and oldest privately owned wineries in Austria. Other wineries in the town range from small, family-run Heurige taverns to large-scale Sekt producers, all just a stone’s throw away from Vienna.
- Gebietswein: Chardonnay, Frühroter Veltliner, Grauer Burgunder, Grüner Veltliner, Gelber Muskateller, Roter Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer, Weißburgunder, Riesling, Blauburgunder, St. Laurent and Zweigelt, monovarietal wines, cuvée blends of these or Gemischter Satz (field blend)
- Ortswein: Monovarietal Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner, Roter Veltliner, Weißburgunder, Riesling, Blauburgunder and Zweigelt; no rosé or blanc de noirs allowed
- Riedenwein: Monovarietal Grüner Veltliner, Roter Veltliner and Riesling
- Gebietswein: Submission for the Federal Inspection Number from 1 December of the same year as harvest
- Ortswein: Submission for the Federal Inspection Number from 1 January of the year following harvest
- Riedenwein: Submission for the Federal Inspection Number from 1 March of the year following harvest
Gebietswein, Ortswein, Riedenwein: White wines are not allowed to have any dominant wood notes.
The designation “Wagram” must also be printed on the front label, with or without the addition of "DAC". However, all the other mandatory information must be printed on the back label, if the bottle has one. Indication of the harvest year is mandatory. The names of the towns and villages listed below, as well as the Rieds located there, may be printed on the label, only together with the designation of origin “Wagram”.
Permitted origins for Ortswein
Absdorf, Fels, Gösing, Thürnthal, Feuersbrunn, Wagram am Wagram, Großriedenthal, Ottenthal, Neudegg, Ameisthal, Baumgarten, Großweikersdorf, Großwiesendorf, Ruppersthal, Tiefenthal, Zaussenberg, Engelmannsbrunn, Kirchberg, Mitterstockstall, Oberstockstall, Unterstockstall, Königsbrunn, Hippersdorf, Eggendorf, Starnwörth, Stetteldorf and Klosterneuburg.
Loess is predominant in the area north of the Danube. It almost completely covers the substratum, which is composed of crystalline rock, silty, clayey marine deposits from the Molasse zone, as well as terrace gravels from the glacial periods. This powdery, yellowish and invariably calcareous, dolomitic rock dust can be up to several metres deep in places here. Higher up, in the northern, hilly part of the wine-growing region, the vineyards contain sandy, gravelly soils, which lie on top of the Hollabrunn-Mistelbach formation. This formation, dating back some 10 million years, marks the former course of the river Danube. In many places, the gravels are covered by a layer of loam.
The vineyards south of the Danube, contain different rocks from the Molasse zone. This changes towards the east, where the Klosterneuburg Großlage (large collective vineyard site) is located. Here, the Rieds are planted on flysch rocks that contain varying amounts of lime. Flysch is characterised by distinctive, often repeating sequences of sandstone, siltstone, claystone and marl, which can be traced back to underwater mudslides that poured into the depths of the former ocean here. Lower down, the north-east-facing slopes are covered in fine-grained loams containing varying amounts of carbonate.
Wagram produces wines with bright fruit, typical spiciness and unmistakably inviting texture. Correspondingly, the white wines are ideal to go with dishes of a robust nature, as do the full-bodied reds. The marquee varieties Grüner and Roter Veltliner anchor the home team, perfect for rich vegetable dishes and classics such as Wiener Schnitzel or meat patties. With their full-bodied character, they also harmonise wonderfully with Mediterranean delicacies such as vitello tonnato, ravioli or gyros, and even add the finishing touch to exotic and spicy curries, and show themselves equal to such difficult wine-pairing challenges as kimchi.