As Austria’s largest wine-growing area, Weinviertel stretches from the Danube River in the south to the Czech border in the north and Slovakia to the east.
Out of 15,000 hectacres planted with grape vines, more than half contain Grüner Veltliner, the true star of this DAC.
Why was the Weinviertel DAC formed?
Originally known for its cheap table wines, the Weinviertel DAC was established in 2001 and has worked hard to establish a distinctive profile for this viticulture area. The region is now strictly controlled and wines have to be approved by the Regional Wine Board before they can be labeled Weinviertel DAC.
The Tasting Profile
Hard work has paid off because today, people now know what to expect when they open a wine labeled Weinviertel DAC or Weinviertel DAC Reserve.
You can expect a quality wine made from Grüner Veltliner.
A Classic Grüner Veltliner from Weinviertel will be:
- light yellow to greenish-yellow in color
- Maximum residual sugar of 6g/l
- Minimum of 12% alcohol
- No notes of wood or Botrytis
- Fine peppery, spicy-fruity taste
The Reserve will have the same criteria as the Classic, but also:
- Precious and exquisite, with a tight structure and a long finish
- Robust stylishness
- Minimum alcohol 13%
- Maximum residual sugar of 9g/l
- Delicate note of wood or Botrytis is allowed
Conveniently located just outside Vienna, the picturesque Weinviertel won’t disappoint wine lovers.
As a wine tourism destination, the region offers not only amazing peppery wines, but gorgeous towns set among vineyards just waiting to be discovered… by you!
Here are a few things to do in the town of Retz:
Underground wine cellars:
Founded in 1278, the Retzer Erlebnis Keller is a must- see tourist destination for wine lovers. Located beneath the beautiful town of Retz, guided tours are available to view a portion of the 20km network of wine cellars. The tour covers the history of this wine producing region and you just might find yourself in a wine tasting room at the end of your visit!
For a hearty snack, fine wines, great views, and a photo opportunity with the only Dutch windmill of its kind in Austria, be sure and stop by Windmühlheurige.
The owners also have a winery that follows organic guidelines and produces Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zweigelt, Blue Portuguese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
The Wines of Weinviertel
So many wines, so little time!
This definitely rings true when visiting Austria! While I definitely recommend creating your own Grüner wine tasting footpath on vacation (ask around for recommendations!), here are a few of my favorite wines to get you started… click here for a list!
Stay tuned… there’s more to come in this series:
Part 3: The Danube Region
Photos courtesy of Weinviertel DAC. Disclosure: TravelPlusWine visited Weinviertel DAC on a sponsored media trip as part of the 2010 European Wine Bloggers Conference in Vienna, Austria.