Six Commandments of the Wachau Wine Region

Codex Wachau
Riesling Bottles

Some people thought this day would never come: The vintners of the Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus agreed on something. All of them. FX Pichler, Franz Hirtzberger, Emmerich Knoll and Johann Donabaum. Josef Högl, Leo Alzinger, Karl Lagler. You name them, they all joined in. But not only did they agree, they did so soberly and united and left proof for everyone to see. Proof in the form of a slew signatures, set below what appears at first glance like a conveniently abbreviated version of the 10 commandments but reveals itself at closer investigation as nothing short of a unifying manifesto to the six Vinea Wachau winemaking laws.

AggsteinCastle Aggstein / Wachau

Those laws, tougher than the walls of castle Aggstein, have not always been easily followed by the Vinea Knights and not just once has the bewitching allure of modern winemaking alchemy drawn our winemakers off the righteous path. It is therefore crucial for the Vinea Wachau Vintners to periodically huddle up and rejuvinate the pledge to a natural winemaking style that doesn’t know any compromise.

To do so in a very public way not only puts further emphasis and staying power on their pledge, it also serves the double purpose of communicating the unique qualities of Wachau wines to the wine drinking world. These qualities can be summed up in one word: Purity.

Click on the image to your left to download and read the original manifesto. It gives you an idea of the black magic that has befallen most of the winemaking world’s cellars and lets you appreciate again what a natural wine is all about. To distinguish a Vinea Wachau wine follow this very simple rule: A wine that has either the word Steinfeder, Federspiel or Smaragd on its label has been produced by a Vinea Wachau vintner and adhers to the six Wachau commandments. To find out more about the three levels of a Vinea Wachau wine, read this post.




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