There is nothing more exciting in the wine world than the renaissance of a historic estate. In 2006, Fritz Miesbauer (formerly of Domaine Wachau and currently of Stadt Krems, and in the foreground of the photo) and Franz Gansberger (in the background) were given the opportunity to do just that. The Stift Goettweig was for centuries considered one of the greatest wine producing estates in all Europe. With its high elevation Riesling and Gruner Veltliner vineyards on varying soil types, like mica-shist, loess, gneiss and gravel, all facing slightly to the north, produces gorgeously precise and understated wines of finesse and tension. The effect of Fritz’s mastery of craftsmanship immediately broke open the hidden treasure of this once dominant estate.
Lay of the Land
Kremstal is one of the most recent DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus) to be added to Austria. Just west of the Wachau, this large appellation is divided into three significant zones. The most western part of the valley, near Stein, is primarily rocky soils, ideal for the elegant, yet intense, Riesling varietal. As you move east towards the historic town of Krems, deep loess soils cover the vineyards allowing Gruner Veltliner to express its highly aromatic and fresh nature. The third zone of the Kremstal is located on the southern banks of the Danube River, where some of the most pleasant wine villages are found. The deep valley is protected by the northern cool winds, though the warm Pannonian winds from the east are still strikingly present, resulting in a riper style wine.