Freie Weingartner Gruner Veltliner Federspiel Terrassen 2000
Other White Blends from Austria
Freie Weingartner Winery
The Domäne Wachau is deeply rooted in the Wachau region. Close to 440 hectares of vineyards are cultivated by the members of this quality-oriented cooperative – that makes 30 percent of the entire Wachau vineyard area. These vineyards are found on steep terraces reinforced by old dry stone walls and are part of a World Cultural Heritage. Famous names like Achleiten, Kollmitz, Loibenberg and Tausend-Eimer-Berg are found on the Domäne Wachau’s vineyard map and make it the only winery in the Wachau with wines from all of the most prestigious sites in the region.
Domäne Wachau strives for the highest quality and as a member of the Vinea Wachau Nobils Districtus quality association, produces wines in the categories Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd. Grapes are sourced from our own vineyards in the Wachau; the purchase of grapes, must or wine from outside the Wachau is not permitted.
Domäne Wachau is among the largest wineries in Austria and produces wines in the premium segment only. New measures for quality assurance have brought Domäne Wachau recognition as one of the top ten best white wine producers in Austria.
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The country of Austria is steadily growing in both wine production and quality. The rise in popularity can be partly attributed to the success of Grüner Veltliner, the most-planted grape of Austria. As a landlocked country Austria has a decidedly continental climate. Most Austrian wine comes from the region of Lower Austria, which happens to be located in the northeast corner of the country, but called as such because of its lower elevation level. Within Lower Austria are many sub-regions, the most well-known being Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal. To the south of Lower Austria is Burgenland, known for producing good reds and sweet whites. Styria is the furthest south, on the border of Slovenia and produces very little of Austria's total wine production. Wein, or Vienna, is its own region as well, a little enclave inside of Lower Austria.
Beyond the delicious Grüner Veltliner, Austria's white grape varieties include Riesling, which can make both sweet and dry wines, Weschriesling, Sauvignon Blanc and some Weissburgunder, (we know it as Pinot Blanc). In reds the best grapes are Blaufränkisch, a red grape also found in Germany, which creates wines that are strong and structured, and usually from Burgenland. Another red coming out of the country is the indigenous crossing (one of the parents is Blaufrankisch), Zweigelt (zuh-VYE-gelt). This is a big and fruity red, usually best drunk young, and quite pleasing.
Austrian Wine Laws & Levels
Like Germany, wine quality is determined by the must weight of the grapes when picked – in other words, the ripeness level. Austria is fairly strict when it comes to their wine laws. The first level of quality is Tafelwein, regular table wine and by far the most produced. Next is Landwein, one step up from Table wine and with more regulations.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.