Die Lage macht den UnterschiedSite Classification System for the Danube Region
In 1992, the Traditionsweingüter Österreich founded their federation with the goal of establishing a site classification system for the Danube region. As winemakers, we believed that first-class wine should not be defined simply by sugar-ripeness, but that even the best winemakers needed an exceptional terroir to produce a truly great wine. For almost two decades, the Traditionsweingüter Österreich have been observing, analysing and discussing the wines and vineyards of the Danube region, and a comprehensive site classification system has now been established.
Thanks to the DAC system, the designation of origin has been newly regulated for the Danube region, although the designation does not include the vineyard itself. Because of this, we have chosen to make the vineyard the focus of our pioneering work. As a first step, we established which of the classic sites (classified vineyards) in each area could be considered Erste Lage (premier) vineyards. These wines are indentified by the logo, printed directly beside the vineyard denomination on the etiquette, as in price lists and catalogues.
On April 30, as a prelude to this year’s Tour de Vin, the Traditionsweingüter will for the first time present wines from some 50 Erste Lage vineyards. It will be a historic moment, the culmination of almost twenty years of work on origin designations in the Danube region (Kremstal, Traisental, Kamptal, Wagram). Our competence is not confined to sugar-grading (and thence alcohol content), but encompasses the identity, balance, depth, complexity and finesse of our wines.
The logo is trademarked and may be used only by the 23 member estates of the Traditionsweingüter. It is used only for Grüner Veltliner and Riesling varietals. Vineyard classification is based on the DAC system, but carries it a step further.
The primary aim of the Traditionsweingüter is to produce wines which reflect their origin and which are consequently unique, typical, distinctive and, in an international context, clearly recognizable as Austrian. Winemakers know that there are some vineyards which undoubtedly produce the best wines every year. The market knows this, too, for these wines consistently retail at higher prices than those from more ordinary vineyards. The logo indicates the uniqueness of a particular wine, based on the distinctive marks of its origin and its especially high value.
Consumers will have their first opportunity of tasting wines during the Tour de Vin 2010 (May 1 and 2). To emphasize the particular nature of these wines, the Traditionsweingüter recommend that their partners in the wine and restaurant business indicate ‘Erste Lage’ or ‘Erste ÖTW Lage’ in wine lists beside each respective vineyard.
A list of Erste Lage and classified vineyards can be found on the Traditionsweingüters´ website at www.traditionsweingueter.at.
Huber's Erste Lagen
Markus Huber's Erste Lagen are Alte Setzen and Berg.
Weingut Markus HUBER
Tel: +43 2783 82 999
Fax: +43 2783 82 999-4