Wachau

The Wachau is famous the world over for its full bodied Rieslings. Other varieties of superb quality that also deserve attention are Grüner Veltliner, Chardonnay and Gelber Muskateller from the Danube Valley.

The most famous winegrowing region in Austria has superbly skilled winemakers to thank for its refined and elegant whites, but also ideal geographic conditions.

A UNESCO World Heritage landscape that sets people smiling: the Wachau, the narrow section of the Danube Valley between Melk and Krems. Its 1,350 ha of vineyards, some steeply terraced, feature mainly Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. The wine categories Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd signify the natural processes used in making Wachau wines. The cool winds from the Waldviertel highlands combine with the moderating influence of the Danube on temperature to lend the Wachau wines their grand flavor and elegance while the Pannonian winds from the east give the Wachau wines their power and fullness.

UNESCO World Heritage and “Best Historic Destination”
The history of how one of Austria’s most fascinating winegrowing regions came about is an exciting one. After the Ice Age, dust-like soils were deposited on the side of the mountains protected from the wind. They turned into today’s loess soils on the one hand and steep slopes consisting of Gföhl gneiss on the other. The Danube also did its part by depositing sand, gravel and suspended loess particles in the flat vineyards. These geological conditions of the terrain combine with the terraces that human beings as “keepers of the landscape” built to allow cultivation of the best sites on the steep slopes. These traits are what make the appearance of the Wachau vineyards so striking. Wines of world renown flourish on the spectacular terraced vineyards laid out centuries ago. Visitors will be enchanted not just by the many grand wines available here but also by some of the most scenic countryside on the continent. The Wachau was put on the UNESCO World Heritage List and named “Best Historic Destination in the World” by National Geographic Magazine in 2009 jointly with the Benedictine Abbey of Melk.

Wachau Wine Road