Grand History and High Art The Krems Valley wine region (Kremstal in German) extends on either side of the Danube around the venerable old wine town of Krems. Wine has been grown here for centuries and is still all-present in Krems, the eastern gateway to the Wachau.
The Krems Valley is one of the oldest wine regions in Austria. Vineyards have flourished for centuries here in fertile soils of primordial rock and especially loess.
The region has 2,370 ha of vineyards and can be divided into three zones with different microclimates – the town of Krems, the area to the north and east of Krems, and a few small wine villages to the south of the Danube. What all of them have in common are spicy Grüne Veltliners and Rieslings with an elegant mineral note as typical representatives of the Krems Valley. They are enjoyed as fresh and classic or as more powerful reserves. Wine from this region has borne the name Kremstal DAC since 2007 as a sign of top quality typical of the region.
Wine continues to be present in Krems with the Weinstadt Museum, the Wein.sinn Wine World of the Winzer Krems association of winemakers, the Krems city winery, the Weinkolleg at Und Monastery, the wine academy and Lower Austrian Wine Fair. Besides salt trade, wine is what allowed Krems to become the economic and cultural center of this area.
To the north of Krems and in the adjoining Wachau, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling grapes grow in soils of primordial rock, creating very spirited wines with a mineral note. To the east toward Rohrendorf and Gedersdorf, vast loess terraces can be found, just the soil for spicy, full-bodied Grüne Veltliners. White wines also dominate to the south of the Danube in the small wine villages from Furth to Hollenburg, which also boast a number of friendly heurige wine taverns. Grapes flourishing in the deep Danube gravel soils are likewise ideal for remarkable reds. All in all, the Krems Valley is a many-faceted wine microcosm: rural and urban, historical and modern, white – and yet also a bit red. www.kremstal-wein.at
Young Rieslings have a charming fruitiness und spice that allows them to mature into grand, complex wines. In these wines, the flavors of stone fruit such as peach, apricot and exotic fruits predominate. The wines are lent a mineral note reminiscent of slate or flint from the terroir in the Wachau, Krems Valley and Kamp Valley in particular. Riesling matures slowly as wine and reaches the pinnacle of its quality as an aged wine with rose-like aromas. A pleasant petroleum note emerges as the wine ages, which is off-putting to some wine drinkers. Grapes infested with noble rot that are left on the vines till late in the season are used for making wines of exceptional quality known in German as Auslese and Beerenauslese wines.
Grüne Veltliners run the gamut of quality from light, acidic wines to fully mature premium vintages. The location and yield are decisive determinants of quality. Spicy, peppery wines are preferred or fruit aromas reminiscent of stone fruit.