The winegrowing region formerly known as Donauland was rechristened Wagram in 2007. In this region, 2,439 hectares of vineyards spread out over two significantly different zones: the actual Wagram north of the Danube borders the Kamptal, a massive level terrain extending about 30 km to the east. South of the Danube one finds the little wine villages of the Tullnerfeld, but also the historic wine town Klosterneuburg, right at the gates of Vienna.
Region & Wine
Natural conditions in the northern segment adhere to a uniform geologic and climatic profile, which offers the best possible conditions for the vinification of rich and aromatic wines. In many vineyards, loess blown in during the glacial periods covers the subsoil of marine deposits (Wagram comes from the word “Wogenrain”, which means roughly “surfside”) and alluvial gravels, shaping the landscape.
First and foremost, it is Grüner Veltliner that ripens here into hearty and spicy wines that combine substance with drinking pleasure, both in the classic dry versions as well as the great, characterful reserves. The autochthonous varietal specialty Roter Veltliner delivers elegant and distinctive white wines, which are particularly ageworthy when yields are kept low.
However, it is not all about the white: some of the richest red wines in Niederösterreich are found at the leading estates, especially vinified from Blauer Zweigelt and Blauburgunder. And the nobly sweet segment is well represented by Eiswein from the environmentally conscious community Grossriedenthal.
The self-confidence of successful winegrowers rubs off on the whole Wagram, a boost in motivation for further quality improvement on a broad basis, supported by tourism and the hospitality industry, which also have great importance here. The villages Feuersbrunn, Fels, Kirchberg (with the regional vinotheque Weritas) and Grosssriedenthal are home to engaged and dedicated wine estates, which have long gone beyond the status of being an insider tip.
Klosterneuburg: wine, pleasure, culture
Austria’s largest private wine estate Stift Klosterneuburg (Klosterneuburg Monastery) has written wine history on the grand scale. With state-of-the-art management and technological support in a proportionate framework, its status as role model will persist well into the future. Another of these is the Höhere Bundeslehranstalt für Wein- und Obstbau (Federal College for Wine and Pomology) – the world’s first school of viticulture (founded in 1860), which transmits wine knowledge on an international level to the next generation. In addition, the breadth of the wine town’s enterprises ranges from small family run Heurigen wine taverns to large Sekt producers, all in direct proximity to the capital Vienna.
North of the Danube, loess is the dominant type of soil. It almost completely covers the substratum of crystalline rock, silty-argillaceous marine deposits of the Molasse basin and terrace gravels from the glacial periods. The yellowish and farinaceous, consistently calcareous-dolomitic rock dust can be up to several metres deep in some places here. In the northern, higher-up and hilly part of the winegrowing region, vineyards are planted on sandy-gravelly soils, on the so-called Hollabrunn-Mistelbach formation. This marks an earlier course of the Danube River, about 10 million years old. In many instances, these gravels bear a topsoil of clay.
South of the Danube, vineyards are situated upon various types of rock of the Molasse Basin, up to where one meets the large collective vineyard site Klosterneuburg to the east.
Its individual vineyards are planted on varieties of calcareous flysch. Flysches are distinctive, often repetitive sequences of sandy, silty, and argillaceous stone, as well as marl. They date back to sub-marine mudslides that poured into the depths of the primordial ocean.
The northeast-facing slopes are sheathed in fine-grained, more or less carbonate loams.
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.
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