Primarily white wine grapes, mostly Grüner Veltliner, flourish in the small terraced vineyards of the Traisen Valley (Traisental in German) between the Danube and St. Pölten. Archeological finds prove that wine was being grown in the Traisen Valley more than 4,000 years ago.
Archeological finds show that people in the Traisen Valley were familiar with viniculture back in the Bronze Age. Nonetheless, this smallest of wine regions in Lower Austria at 790 ha was not elevated to wine region status until 1995 as the last of the 8 wine regions in the land. The reasons for this delay may be many; they certainly have nothing to do with the quality of the Traisen Valley wines.
For the most part, the vines grow on often tiny terraces with dry, very limey soil.
They lend the wines their distinct profile featuring a full body and a strong backbone. Fruity spicy Grüner Veltliner accounts for more than half the vineyards in cultivation, so this variety dominates in this region. But Traisen Valley Riesling, with its full-bodied mineral character, also has its enthusiastic backers.
Both have been marketed since 2006 under the designation Traisental DAC. Wine lovers may also be interested in the successful attempts in the Traisen Valley to increase the output of wines made from Rivaner, varieties of Burgunder and Zweigelt.
The small wine villages of Insersdorf, Getzersdorf, Reichersdorf and Nussdorf ob der Traisen picturesquely dot the vineyards on the slopes of Dunkelsteiner Wald, a forest that protects the vines from cool winds from the west. The Traisen Valley heurige are located further to the west near Oberwölbling and Unterwölbling. The area to the northeast between Traismauer and Sitzenberg-Reidling also has a number of authentic cellar-lined roads, where wines are served in heuriger fashion accompanied by tasty down-to-earth foods.
The best way to explore this most recently dubbed wine region in Lower Austria is on foot – on a guided hike through the Traisen Valley with one of some 36 trained wine guides.