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ÖTW comes of age

by Catherine Walbridge

The ÖTW was founded in 1991 by Austrian wineries who wanted to focus on the connection between wine and site-specific vineyards and to develop a classification system that would reflect these outstanding wines.

As one founding member recalls: “We were particularly fond of Burgundy with its emphasis on origins, classification and the traditions that have grown up around fine wine”.

Ten winegrowers from Kremstal by the Danube River west of Vienna, and the hinterland of Kamptal initially came together to form Österreichische Traditionsweingüter (Traditional Wine Estates of Austria). The circle later expanded to include wine producers from Wagram and Traisental – and in 2018 wineries in Vienna and Carnuntum.

Nearly 80 ÖTW members

This premium grouping has now swelled to 77 wineries spanning the Danube river regions, but its core belief remains the same: that great wines will only be produced from the most outstanding and significant vineyards. Showcasing this, a total of 95 sites now have the distinction of being designated ÖTW Erste Lage (Premier Cru) vineyards.

But the work to put Austria’s single vineyard wines on the map doesn’t stop here. The goal is still to eventually classify the most significant sites as Grosse Lage (Grand Cru) after all the Erste Lage sites have been defined and proven their extraordinary, individual character throughout multiple vintages.

Thermenregion joins ÖTW

That mission continues to attract more regions to Österreichische Traditionsweingüter, with the most recent entrant being Thermenregion, south of Vienna. Nine new ÖTW member wineries from Thermenregion will debut their wines at the ÖTW Single Vineyard Summit in September 2023.

Ten years after the ÖTW held its first event celebrating Austria’s most celebrated single vineyard wines, and more than 30 years after it was founded, it has truly come of age.

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
Catherine Walbridge
Catherine Walbridge
Head of International

Catherine Walbridge joined Wine+Partners in December 2022 as the agency looked to expand its international reach and English-language expertise. The London-born journalist and editor grew up in New Zealand and has worked in international media for more than 20 years. She is a former Reuters correspondent, South China Morning Post Deputy International Editor in Hong Kong and New Zealand radio program editor. Her interest in wine and food became part of her professional life when she moved to Vienna and worked at Falstaff magazine for a year.

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