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The wine-growing region of Kremstal lies northwest of Vienna in the province of Lower Austria. It is bordered to the north and east by the Kamptal wine-growing region, to the south by the Traisental valley and to the west by the Wachau region. In the northwest, the Krems Valley borders on the Waldviertel. The Krems River, which rises in the Waldviertel and flows into the Danube east of the town of Krems, gives the area its name. The Danube flows through the Kremstal wine-growing region from west to east.

The area under vines in the Krems Valley covers around 2,300 hectares and can be divided into three zones: the Krems river valley including the city of Krems in the west of the area, the Lösster terraces east of the city and the wine villages south of the Danube around the Benedictine Abbey of Göttweig. More than half of the area is planted with Grüner Veltliner, followed at a distance by Zweigelt, Riesling and Rivaner. Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are also the two varieties approved for the Kremstal DAC and Kremstal DAC Reserve designations of origin.

The Kremstal wine-growing region (source: ÖWM)

In the city of Krems and its immediate surroundings with wine-growing communities such as Stein and Senftenberg, primary rock weathering soils predominate, producing particularly mineral wines. From the loess soils in the east of the winegrowing area with communities like Rohrendorf and Gedersdorf come rounder, fuller wines. South of the Danube, in addition to loess and gravel, clay, sand and other geological materials are also found; this is where the wine-growing communities of Furth, Palt, Krustetten, Hollenburg, Oberfucha and Tiefenfucha are located.

The climate in the Kremstal is well suited for juicy, finesse-rich white wines and elegant, expressive red wines. Cold, moist air currents enter the area from the Waldviertel in the northwest and meet warm, dry influences from the Pannonian lowlands in the east. The temperature differences between day and night are large, which favours the development of aromas in the grapes.

View of Krems on the Danube (Source: ÖWM / Egon Mark)

2011 was unquestionably an excellent year in the Kremstal, also for Grüner Veltliner, as the extraordinarily high number of excellent results from our sample clearly shows. However, the vintage also produced wines with very high ripeness, a lot of alcohol and low acidity. This means that this year, of all wines, the most ambitious ones are sometimes a bit disappointing, because they always seem a bit too thick, too overloaded and can be quite exhausting. At times during the tasting we wondered whether the "Reserve" category of the DAC might give one or the other producer the wrong incentive to push the ripeness particularly hard, even well beyond the point to which it is beneficial for the wine. Nevertheless, we are always amazed at how some producers manage to make exciting, polished, sometimes even downright cool-looking wines despite very high alcohol levels, which benefit from the greater variety of aromas and concentration due to high ripeness without turning out too heavy or even clumsy.

Proidl, Mantlerhof and Thiery-Weber have each placed several first-class reserves in the top group, not to forget the excellent Vordernberg by Walter Buchegger, the "Elitär" by Wolfgang Eigner or the Frechau by Franz Türk, followed by a long list of other excellent drops. In addition, this year there are also a large number of much lighter, but all the more animating wines below the reserves, which hardly require any compromises in terms of juiciness, spiciness and complexity, but gain in finesse and drinking pleasure. Veltliners like Sepp Moser's Gebling, Martin Nigl's Alte Reben or the Lössterrassen from Mantlerhof are definitely not to be missed. You don't often get so much wine for so little money, even in the Kremstal.

View of Göttweig Abbey (Source: ÖWM / Egon Mark)

The Rieslings are almost better than the Grüner Veltliners this year. Hermann Moser, Martin Nigl, Walter Buchegger, the Mantlerhof, Proidl and Thiery-Weber present a range at the top that cannot leave any Riesling lover cold. Complex, deep and juicy, the wines are rare and so faithful to the vineyard that you can sometimes guess their origin more easily than the winery. And these are only the very best, not to forget Lesehof Stagard, whose Grillenparz is the best wine we have ever tasted from this estate, then Weingut Zöhrer with its Gigant or Sepp Moser, who presented his 2010 only now and still easily made it into the top ten of the tasting, despite the enormous 2011 competition.

By no means all of the Kremstal Rieslings come from loess, but many of the best do. They refute the widespread prejudice that loess soils are rather suboptimal for Riesling - above all the outstanding "Kellerterrassen" by Hermann Moser from one of the most important loess sites in Europe.


Vinorama, Austria's largest mail-order wine company, has prepared a package of representative wines from the Kremstal for Wein-Plus readers. There is such a selection for each theme in the section "Austria in Focus", so that you can easily get your own impression of the wines from the respective region presented. All you have to do is register once at Vinorama for the tasting package; you will then receive it automatically with each new theme until further notice - free of shipping costs!

Find out more and order the Vinorama package directly here

All recommended producers from the Kremstal in the wine guide
(here you can also find all wines without DAC status)

All tasted Grüner Veltliner Kremstal DAC

All tasted Riesling Kremstal DAC

More about the wines from the Kremstal also in the Genuss-Magazin

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