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Wine Places to be

Austrian single vineyard wines savour their moment in the sun

by Franziska Katterbauer

The ÖTW Single Vineyard Summit 2023 has notched up new heights in the wine world. From 4 – 8 September the tasting event, exclusively dedicated to Austrian single vineyard wines, saw the presentation of more wines of origin that ever before, from the largest number of regions. 

For five sunny days, journalists, sommeliers and trade tasted their way through 520 site-specific wines before they were released on the market. It was the 11th year that the picturesque Grafenegg castle park has hosted Austria’s most renowned tasting. The tasting is part of the classification process, in which the opinions and evaluations of the national and international experts are taken into account.

The festivities began on 3 September with a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, before the Summit, organised by Österreichische Traditionsweingüter (Traditional Wine Estates of Austria), kicked off the next day. At 9.am sharp, the first wine professionals took their seats in the riding school.  

Vintners from 12 Austrian regions presented their singular wines to a record 450 guests during the Summit. This personal touch was much appreciated by the hard-working attendees, who this year hailed from more than 15 countries. 

Behind the scenes beim ÖTW Single Vineyard Summit

“…this is one brilliant aspect of the ÖTW tasting: even though producers are typically about to start harvesting, they give up a day or more to be part of the team that pours the wines to the seated tasters.” 

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com

A toast at the picnic in Grafenegg castle park
©Anna Stöcher

World champion sommelier picnic

But the Summit was not all hard work. Music, humour and relaxation also played a role – from a picnic of locally sourced delicacies in the park grounds to a yodelling workshop for sommeliers from as far afield as China, in which participants could not only taste origin but also hear it… 

A convoy of tractors in vineyards
©Anna Stöcher

Trip to Wagram

Every year, an ÖTW region invites journalists to an extra in-depth programme as part of the ÖTW Single Vineyard Summit. This year, it was Wagram's turn to host the guests for an informative and enjoyable evening. After the tasting in Grafenegg, they were picked up by vintage tractors to savour an aperitif with a view in the middle of the vineyards.

Wagram's treasure trove of soil

The Wagram is characterised by its particularly fertile loess soils. What exactly this fine, silty soil is all about was explained by geologist Hans Unterfrauner in a lecture in the middle of the vineyard. He explained clearly and eloquently why fertile loess soils are so beneficial for winegrowing and which biological and chemical processes influence it.

An evening with a view and classification in law

After a short walk through the vines, whose grapes were were close to being perfectly ripe, the guests tasted the wines of seven ÖTW wineries from Wagram (information on the latest addition, Weingut Schuster, is below). In the picturesque 'Weinblick' (Wine View) in Feuerbrunn, Toni Mörwald personally stood at the cooker and spoiled the guests. Chris Yorke (Austrian Wine) used the presence of international media to give an update about the latest development in the Austrian wine law, which now includes site classification based on the ÖTW model.

ÖTW Single Vineyard Summit 2024

One of the unique features of the ÖTW Single Vineyard Summit is that it provides a once-a-year opportunity to discover the full breadth and depth of Austria’s site-specific wines in one location during one week. And so, each year’s dates are eagerly anticipated...and in 2024 the Summit has already been fixed for 9-13 September.

Save the date: 9. - 13. September 2024

About Österreichische Traditionsweingüter

The winegrowers association was founded in 1991 as a consortium between the Danube regions of Kamptal and Kremstal. 17 estates took part in a pilot project whose stated goal was the classification of Austrian vineyards; over time, this grew to the current level of 77 members. The ÖTW sees the ÖTW.Klassifikation as a tool for providing wine aficionados with a clearer system for orientation and appreciation of appellations and sites.

Bundesverband Österreichische Traditionsweingüter
c/o Kloster Und
Undstraße 6, A-3500 Krems

Österreichische Traditionsweingüter

ÖTW logo on a badge

Guest regions: 

Steirische Terroir und Klassische Weingüter (STK)

STK is an association of 12 winegrowers from the regions of south Styria and Vulkanland. With 75 white wines from 10 different grape varieties, they thrilled the audience in Grafenegg with their single vineyard wines from their Erste and Grosse lage (Premier and Grand Cru) STK sites.

Vinea Wachau 

Vinea Wachau was founded 40 years ago as a producers’ association representing wineries in the Wachau region. For the second year in a row, Vinea Wachau took part in the Summit and poured a selection of 120 Grüner Veltliner and Riesling wines for attendees.

Eisenberg & Leithaberg

The Burgenland areas of Eisenberg and Leithaberg are favoured with mineral soils and microclimatic, cooling influences that give their wines a distinctive vibrancy and typicity – each in its own unique way. Twenty-seven winemakers travelled to Grafenegg to showcase the singular characteristics of their wines.

Eisenberg was hit by hail in 2020, leaving wineries with a small, albeit high-quality, vintage. So they chose to present more mature vintages - 2015 and 2017 - for the first time, thereby showcasing the phenomenal ageing potential of their wines.

Photo gallery

All photos of the tasting and the social programmes are available under the following link. Copyright for all photos: © Anna Stöcher

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Franziska Katterbauer
Franziska Katterbauer
Project Manager

With parents who were wine traders and restauranteurs, her love for wine began at an early age. However, Franziska took a different direction after graduating from high school, studying illustration and later advertising design. Wine+Partners offered the opportunity of reuniting these two passions. She is not only involved in the agency’s graphic design but jumps in to support numerous other projects.