Come visit Austria’s Wachau Valley with me!
So I obviously enjoy talking about wine. But one of the things I struggle with when writing for you guys is how technical and “wine-geeky” to get. Yes, some background is important, but I don’t want to bore folks to tears either. There are certainly some topics that true geeks will get into, but will leave others with a “wtf do I care” attitude. So I found a solution for that.
I applied and was selected to be a contributor to The Vintner Project, which is a comprehensive media outlet that covers all aspects of wine. This was the perfect place to talk about something I was pretty excited about – Austrian wine classification. But I knew if I waxed poetic about the Austrian Districtus Austriae Controllatus (“DAC”) system here, some folks would be like, “but is the wine good?”
So if you’re interested, check out my first contribution to The Vintner Project where I talked about how the Wachau region just became part of the DAC system. For a little more on my trip, keep reading below.
I’ve traveled to Austria twice for wine trips and have really come to appreciate the wines. On my most recent trip, I traveled northwest of Vienna to the wine regions along the Danube. I visited the wine regions of Carnuntum, Thermenregion, Traisental, Kremstal, Kamptal, and more. One of the highlights was visiting the Wachau region. This is an absolutely gorgeous region on the Danube that sits between the cities of Melk and Krems and is an UNESCO World Heritage site.
I was able to see the region by boat and land which offer two very different perspectives. We sipped some of the region’s best Grüner Veltliner and Riesling along with lunch while traveling along the river.
The river-side perspective also gave us great views of the famous steep, terraced vineyards.
After lunch, we visited the famous Domäne Wachau winery in the village of Dürnstein. The yellow baroque landmark is unmistakable and was built between 1714 and 1719. Domäne Wachau is practically synonymous with the Wachau region and manages 30% of the entire region’s vineyard area.
Before going inside, we hiked (I did it in riding boots!) up to catch the views from the Kellerberg vineyard which is one of the region’s most renowned vineyards. The vineyard rises to more than 1,100 feet above sea level and has many south-facing terraces that look directly onto the Danube. Gorgeous views all around!
After having some wine with a view, it was time to tour the winery including the maze of underground cellars.
A tour of the winery takes about an hour and a half. It is open year-round and is an absolute must for wine lovers.
Cheers to the Wachau!