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Erste Lage Vineyards in the Danube Region

Logo:1: Lage ÖTWThe proudest traditional vineyards of Austria’s Danube winegrowing region (Kremstal, Traisental, Kamptal und Wagram) have joined forces in the Federation of Traditional Austrian Winemakers (ÖTW). The ÖTW was founded in 1992 with the goal of establishing a vineyard site classification system.  

For almost two decades, the 23 ÖTW winemakers have been attentively observing the wines of all their vineyards, analyzing their development potential and characteristic qualities with a view to identifying the very best of them. The 2009 vintage saw the first of these premier wines marketed under the ‘Erste Lage’ classification, with the  logo shown on their etiquette.

Not every terroir can produce a great wine. Some vineyards reliably produce more refined and complex wines with top ageing potential every year. The reasons for this are varied: topsoil and subsoil conditions, exposition, rainfall, range of temperatures, and no doubt many other factors remaining to be scientifically determined.

The two most important elements in making a premium vineyard,’ saysÖTW ChairmanMichael Moosbrugger, ‘are the experience of winemakers who have been observing their wines for generations, and feedback from wine lovers willing to pay higher prices for high quality wines.’ The ÖTW bases its vineyard classification on the Danube region’s DAC system. This means that only dry Grüner Veltliner und Riesling wines may carry the  logo. ÖTW will use this to develop a further origin-based classification system.

The Traditionsweingüter Österreich are for the first time presenting wines from 47 Erste Lage vineyards as part of this year’s Tour de Vin (May 1st and 2nd), for which all 23 winemakers will keep their doors open to the public (Entry fee € 15).  As a prelude to the Tour, the ÖTW are hosting a gala evening at Schloss Grafenegg, with a classical concert performed by Herbert Lippert und his philharmonic friends, and afterwards a tasting of Erste Lage wines.  Tickets are available from € 35 on

Map: "Erste Lagen" (jpg, 7,8 MB)