The Wachau Harvest in Austria

Amongst the most underrated and petite wine regions, Austria has quite a big variety in climate, soil and grape varieties. The most famous region is by far the Wachau Valley – UNESCO World Culture & Nature Heritage – situated alongside the Danube River. The uniqueness of the valley originates from the steep slopes in the vineyards as well as the particular stone walls, which also define the taste of the region.

The Wachau is a fruity, mineral, full-bodied, late-harvest white-wine-dominated region in Austria. Known for its white grapes Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, which get their distinctive taste through the unique microclimate caused by the special situated valley alongside the River Danube, foggy mornings and afternoons, warm weather throughout the day as well as the cold nights beginning in late summer. The Wachau wines are recognisable through their special categories, Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd, which distinguish them into light, medium and heavy wines.

For this year’s wine harvest, I was lucky enough to take some time off my work with SmoothRed in October and went back home to Austria to join this important time of the year. The harvest is not only an important time for every winemaker but also for tourism; it is one of the busiest times of the year in the Wachau Valley! This year it was extremely beautiful and a true experience to participate in. We had exceptionally great weather and grapes which roots for good quality wines. While tasting throughout fermentation already showed that the 2021 vintage had great potential, when I tasted them now where they are resting and developing their character, the nearly finished wines have a great depth and fruity aroma. The heavy so-called Smaragds are full-bodied, rich of minerality and have a typical aroma for the grape variety.

It can be said that the vintage 2021 will be a very good year for Austrian wines – it was a pleasure to be a part of this unique experience!

To find out more about any the The Wachau Valley or indeed any of our mouth-watering food and wine experiences or to book a wine tour, contact sales@smoothred.com or call +44 208 877 4940. All our gastronomic getaways can be tailored to suit your tastes.

Johanna Regler


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