Every year the Austrian Wine Summit grows as regions beyond the ‘Danube’ core that began the Erste Lage tasting join the movement begun by the Österreiche Traditionsweingüter (ÖTW).

In 2018, the regions to the west of Vienna along the Danube – Kamptal, Kremstal, Traisental and Wagram – were joined by Carnuntum and Wien, the following year saw Burgenland’s Eisenberg and Leithaberg presenting their wines in the Austrian National Library in Vienna, while winemakers from the Steirische Terroir und Klassik Weingüter (STK), the equivalent organisation in Steiermark, also added Erste and Grosse Lage wines from Südsteiermark and Vulkanland – adding crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Morillon (aka Chardonnay), Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder and Traminer to the tasting marathon in 2020.

This year saw another expansion, with Thermenregion, who have formed their own local ÖTW branch welcoming journalists and other experts to the historic Weingut Thallern near Gumpoldskirchen to taste their single-vineyard Zierpfandler, Rotgipfler, Pinot Noir and Sankt Laurent on the Sunday before events kicked off the next day in Grafenegg.

However, it was not only the Thermenregion who showed their wines, the Weinviertel also informally poured some single-vineyard Grüner Veltliner and Riesling at the traditional picnic prior to the classical music concert at the castle’s outdoor stage, the Wolkenturm, or Tower of the Wind. Wineries in the Weinviertel, who were the first to introduce the idea of the DAC for their Grüner Veltliner, are planning to establish their local ÖTW branch in the next year or two, bringing a further region into the fold.

As the numbers of wines tasted grows, so does the number of those wishing to taste the best Austrian wines. Thus tasting this year was relocated to the larger, airier Reitschule (Riding School), with its large room not only enabling more people to participate in the tasting, but also making life easier for the wine producers pouring the wine, who are now able to glide around one large room burdened by heavy crates of wine rather than a warren of small rooms within the castle itself. However, it did rather feel like you were sitting in an exam room!

Perhaps the biggest news of all is that Wachau, whose separate association Vinea Wachau has thus far followed a rather different classification path with its Steinfelder, Federspiel and Smaragd wines, based on fruit ripeness and thus alcohol, rather than origin, also chose to present its single-vineyard wines for tasting by journalists and experts. So, just over 100 wines from Wachau’s top sites were duly tasted at the stunning Schloss Dürnstein, right next to the Danube.

So, it seems that ÖTW Chairman Michael Moosbrugger’s desire to see the single-vineyard classification movement become national is well on its way!

The expert and professional management of Dorli Muhr and her team at Wine and Partners ensured that everything functioned seamlessly, as always!