Domane Wachau Federspiel Terrassen Gruner Veltliner 2021
The winery is led by MW Roman Horvath, whose team works closely with growers, and has instituted a vineyard quality assurance program. This sustainable vineyard management program includes measures of quality cultivation and is customized according to specific vineyards and vintage.
Austria imposes very stringent wine laws, and the Wachau region goes beyond these with their quality categories of Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd to assure uncompromising quality.
The Wachau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stretching from the banks of the Danube, benefits from the river’s role as a climate regulator. Many of the vineyards are very steep and terraced with very old, dry stone walls. The very best vineyards are vinified separately to produce single vineyard Gruner Veltliners and Rieslings.
As Austria’s most prestigious wine growing region, the landscape of the Wachau is—not surprisingly—one of its most dramatic. Millions of years ago, the Danube River chiseled its way through the earth, creating steep terraces of decomposed volcanic and metamorphic rock. Harsh Ice Age winds brought deposits of ancient glacial dust and loess to the terrace’s eastern faces. Today these steep surfaces of nutrient-poor and fast draining soil are home to some of Austria’s very best sites for both Grüner Veltliner and Riesling.
Wachau is small, comprising a mere three percent of Austria’s vine surface and, considering relatively low yields, represents a miniscule proportion of total wine production. Diurnal temperature shifts in Wachau facilitate great balance of sugar and phenolic ripeness in its grapes. At night cold air from the Alps and forests in the northwest displace warm afternoon air, which gets sucked upstream along the Danube.
Its sites are actually so varied and distinct that more emphasis is going into vineyard-designated offerings even despite grape variety. Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are most prominent, but the region produces Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder), Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Zweigelt among other local variants.
Fun to say and delightfully easy to drink, Grüner Veltliner calls Austria its homeland. While some easily quaffable Grüners come in a one-liter—a convenient size—many high caliber single vineyard bottlings can benefit from cellar aging. Somm Secret—About 75% of the world’s Grüner Veltliner comes from Austria but the variety is gaining ground in other countries, namely Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the United States.