Discover the Austrian wine region of Wachau

by Marta Burgués

Wine and wine tourism lovers have a beautiful region in Austria that is less known than other areas of the same characteristics. It is Wachau, which one hour away from Vienna, the Austrian capital, allows you to discover beautiful landscapes and vineyards, and it is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Let’s go?

The valley has 33 km that separate the cities of Krems and Melk, and it is well known for its cultural heritage, such as castles and monasteries. In this prestigious wine region, although we have heard little of it, it is said that wine was made since Roman times, but its best time was during the Carolingian Empire, in the ninth century. The vineyards of Wachau extend for 1,350 hectares and they are located in the Benedictine abbeys since it was the monks who in the Middle Ages elaborated the wine of the area.

As places to visit, we have already named Melk, which has a remarkable abbey, the Town Hall Square, the Municipal Museum, as well as restaurants and bars where you can taste the wine of the region directly. On the other hand, Spitz is a small town that has establishments run by grape growers in which we can taste the wine of the harvest of the year.

Wineries in the area

To visit this valley, you must first know its wines and the wineries that are part of the landscape. There are a total of 232 wineries that are included in an association of producers, Vinea Wachau. It should be noted that the small producers are who make this place one of the most important in terms of wines from Austria.

Wachau wine is classified into three different categories, according to their alcohol content: Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd. The wine, generally, is usually a dry white made with no addition of sugar. Vinea Wachau association rules demand that the producers harvest the grapes by hand and, so the wines are obtained throughout an artisanal process.

The grapes used for these wines are Grüner Veltliner and Regia Riesling, which is quite common in such European areas. But other varieties of grapes are also used, such as Neuburger, Gelbe Muskateller, Weißburgunder or Traminer.

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