Federspiel is the second highest quality level specific to the
Wachau region. The term actually refers to a lure used in
falconry and symbolizes the racy acidity of these wines. Knoll's
offerings are known for their potent floral and spice driven nose,
and this Gruner is no exception, but it also has ample fruit and
mineral on the palate, and as one would expect from a
Federspiel quality wine, a firm acidic backbone.
Weingut Knoll Winery
Emmerich Knoll III, an exhuberent spokesperson for the Wachau region, farms the family’s 15 hectares of land and crafts wines that clearly express the Unterloiben terroir where some of Austria's most famous vineyards live. This family run winery is a treasure that has been estate owned and operated for over three generations. The majority of the Knoll's vineyard plantings are dedicated to Gruner Veltliner and Riesling, but the family also farms small amounts of Rivaner, Gelber Traminer, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A member of "Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus," an association of Wachau winemakers who follow strict quality control rules, the Knoll Winery upholds stringent farming and winemaking standards that vintage after vintage propel their wines to the top of restaurant, collector and critic’s lists. Knoll wines are easily recognized by their distinct label that depicts an ornate image of St. Urban the patron saint of winemakers and vineyards. While in the Wachau, one can also dine at the family’s acclaimed, 400 year old restaurant, Loibnerhof Familie Knoll.
View all Weingut Knoll Wines
View a map of Austria wineries
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.
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.