Austria’s youngest wine-growing area is also one of its smallest.
Yet, with only around 770 hectares of vineyards, it is an excellent area – especially because of its leading grape variety, Grüner Veltliner. While most of the small wine villages here feature the ever-traditional, down to earth Heurigen wine taverns, the larger towns, such as Traismauer and Herzogenburg, offer fine glimpses into history. Since the 2006 vintage, typically fruity and spicy Grüner Veltliners and juicy, minerally Rieslings have been coming to the market with the “Traisental DAC” designation.
In no other Austrian wine-growing area does Grüner Veltliner represent such a large proportion of territory: Cultivated in 63% of the Traisental´s vineyards, Grüner Veltliner is the unquestioned number one here. However, Riesling, too, is a speciality of the Traisental. The vines are mainly planted on terraces – some of them quite minuscule – comprised of dry and very limy gravel soils. They give the wines a very individual profile – a strong body and a solid backbone. Minerals provide flavour and support the acidity structure, which helps boost the longevity of the wines. Pannonian influences paired with the cool air from the Alps result in warm days and cool nights – special climatic factors that lend to the development of very fine aromas and spicy finesse. Additionally, the nearby Danube river plays a temperature-regulating role.
Many great wines of the world are grown on limestone rich soil, and the Traisental valley is the only wine producing region of lower Austria where this exact soil type can be found. The limestone soil here forms the base of the finest sites for growing wine. This unique soil formation is rich with precious minerals and helps to keep the water supply to the vines at an optimum level. It provides our Grüner Veltliner with an unmistakable spiciness as well as a distinct and clear bouquet, and the Riesling with power and smooth body. Because of this our wines have great laying down potential – Markus Huber himself loves to drink his wines once they have spent a few years maturing.
The valley of Traisental lies at the crossing point of the pannonian and continental climates. Here cool breezes drifting down from the nearby Alps meet with warm air currents coming from the Donau valley, which lead to extreme variance in the temperatures of the day and the night. This natural phenomenon is never more important than during the ripening season of the grapes, as it is hugely beneficial to the development of the aroma and their absorption into the skins which result in intensely aromatic wines. All these elements combined help our wines to develop their unmistakable character.
Connoisseurs, hikers, bikers, and those interested in culture, find the Traisental an attractive destination for excursions. Here, findings of grape seeds dating from the early Bronze Age – far earlier than the Roman period – are evidence of an old wine tradition. Also, St. Pölten, the nearby capital of Niederösterreich (Lower Austria), has a lot to offer in terms of modern cultural entertainment. From this southern-most point of the Traisental, many impressive roads head both east and west: from Statzendorf, Unterwölbing and Oberwölbing to Nußdorf, Reichersdorf, Getzersdorf, and even further to Inzersdorf, Stollhofen, Frauendorf and Gemeinlebarn.
Wine culture connects all the villages and towns of the area, and is omnipresent through the numerous Buschenschanks here. It is also communicated with charm by the wine-growers who are very conscious of the roles that Grüner Veltliner and Riesling play as ambassadors for this area. They contribute considerably to making the distinctive style of their wines even more known on a wider scale, and add a further personal touch through their own culinary delicacies. Still, the Traisental hosts other white and red wine specialities that must be tasted as well!