You are using an old browser that may not function as expected.
For a better, safer browsing experience, please upgrade your browser.

Log in Become a Member

In the past, Traisental winegrowers were often considered the unknown stepchildren of Austrian wine. But they have long since established their growing region with long-lived, mineral and often surprisingly affordable white wines. Sleeping Beauty has been kissed awake.

The Traisental is one of the youngest and smallest wine-growing regions in Austria. It was only created in 1995 and previously belonged to the large area of Donauland. The vineyards are located to the left and right of the river that gives the area its name, between Herzogenburg and the confluence of the Traisen and the Danube at the village of Traismauer, which was founded as a Roman camp. The main villages are Inzersdorf, Nussdorf ob der Traisen and Getzersdorf.

The region is known for its spicy Grüner Veltliner and mineral Riesling wines, which have been marketed under the Traisental DAC designation since the 2006 vintage. The vineyard area is 848 hectares, of which more than 60 percent is reserved for Grüner Veltliner. This makes the Traisental one of the areas with the highest percentage of Grüner Veltliner in Austria.

The "fast flowing" characterises the style of the wines


The landscape of the Traisental is characterised by rolling hills and small vineyards, many of them on slopes. On fine days, you can see Mount Ötscher in the Alps from some of them, where the Traisen rises. Even the Schneeberg, Lower Austria's highest mountain with its namesake snowfields, can be spotted from the often terraced hillside vineyards on a clear day, although they are over 100 km away as the crow flies.

Some of the best vineyards stand on limestone sedimentary rocks up to 16 million years old, which give the wines a distinct profile with a strong body and firm backbone. These soil formations, also called "limestone conglomerate", which mix sediments from the limestone Alps from the upper reaches of the Traisen with river gravel, characterise the wines on the slopes on the western bank of the river. It is no coincidence that the name "Traisen" is derived from the Celtic word "Tragisa", which means "the fast-flowing one". The right side of the valley is dominated by calcareous, silty sands in which the sea shell "Oncophora", which gives it its name, can be found. In the west of the area near Oberwölbling and Unterwölbling, long-lived wines come from the granulite soils of the Dunkelsteinerwald. Most of the vineyards are on loess.

The minerality is an important flavour carrier and supports the acid structure, which contributes to the longevity of the wines. The climate is characterised by Pannonian influences from the east and cold air from the Alpine foothills, which ensures warm days and cool nights. This gives the wines a fine aroma and a lot of spicy finesse.

Focus on Grüner Veltliner and Riesling

Lime conglomerate is a characteristic soil formation of the Traisental valley

ÖWM Armin Faber

The DAC system with its protected designation of origin is reserved in the Traisental only for Grüner Veltliner and Riesling; all other grape varieties are marketed under the "Niederösterreich" designation of origin. DAC stands for "Districtus Austriae Controllatus" and means that wines with this status must meet strict quality regulations. They range from the harvest quantity to the analysis values to the taste profile.

The Traisental DAC designation of origin has existed since the 2006 vintage and is divided into three levels (in ascending order):

  • Area wine with the designation "Traisental DAC".
  • Local wine with the designation "Traisental DAC" and a place name (e.g. Inzersdorf)
  • Riedenwein (single vineyard) with the designation "Traisental DAC" as well as a place and a location (e.g. Inzersdorfer Ried Zwirch).

All Traisental DAC wines must be dry. Regional wines have at least 11.5 percent alcohol by volume, local wines at least 12 percent by volume and single vineyard wines at least 12.5 percent by volume. Another category are the wines with the designation "Reserve", whose alcohol content is at least 13 percent by volume and which also mature longer in the cellar. The generic designation of origin "Niederösterreich" also applies to Rieslings or Grüner Veltliners that do not meet the DAC requirements.

Wine companion and baroque highlight

Hiking in the Traisental: on a clear day the view reaches all the way to the Alps

ÖWM Robert Herbst

The Traisental is a popular destination for wine fans, hikers, cyclists and culture enthusiasts. The wine tradition dates back to the early Bronze Age, as evidenced by finds of grape seeds. Today, a modern and varied cultural programme in the nearby Lower Austrian capital of St. Pölten offers guests many attractions, events and excursion destinations. Herzogenburg Abbey, designed by Austria's most famous baroque architects, is the spiritual and cultural centre of the region - and definitely worth a trip for guests. The prehistoric museum in Nussdorf ob der Traisen documents the long history of settlement in the region. Above Reichersdorf you can visit a dwelling cave dug into the loess - a place of refuge for poor people until after the First World War.

On bike or on foot, interested visitors can join one of the 32 wine guides. These are trained "wine guides" who accompany guests through villages and vineyards and finally to the tasting, thus personally introducing them to the region. The beauty of it is that each wine guide has his or her own special tour, so you can go anywhere and will always get to know something new. Many idyllic wine and winery villages such as Statzendorf, Unter- and Oberwölbling, Nußdorf, Reichersdorf, Getzersdorf, Inzersdorf, Stollhofen, Frauendorf and Gemeinlebarn also offer good restaurants and interesting wineries.

A new generation of dynamic winegrowers has long been at work here, who see themselves as ambassadors of their region. They contribute a lot to making the independent wine style of the Traisental known beyond the borders of Austria - and have meanwhile even achieved international success.

More on this topic:

Related Magazine Articles

View All