The winegrowers’ consortium was founded in 1991 in the Danube regions Kamptal & Kremstal. At that time, a group of seventeen estates embarked on a pilot project with the aim of classifying Austria’s vineyards and grew over the years into an association that now numbers seventy-seven members. With the ÖTW classification, the group is trying to offer wine lovers a system of orientation, to facilitate navigation through the complex environment that characterises designations of origin and vineyard sites.
The seventy-seven members of the Österreichische Traditionsweingüter are spread across four regions: the ÖTW.Donau with members from the Traisental, Kremstal, Kamptal and Wagram, the ÖTW.Wien in Vienna, ÖTW.Carnuntum and, more recently, the ÖTW.Thermenregion. As of 2022 there are also nine certified estates that are not members of the ÖTW but are still allowed to use the ÖTW classification. Currently, ninety-five vineyards are classified as ÖTW.ERSTE LAGE sites in the regions Donau, Wien and Carnuntum. With 3,000 hectares under vines, the ÖTW sites cover seven per cent of all Austrian wine, with an increase of up to ten per cent anticipated over the next few years.
Along with Michael Moosbrugger, the heads of the ÖTW.Wien (Fritz Wieninger), ÖTW.Carnuntum (Gerhard Markowitsch), ÖTW.Donau (Michael Malat) and ÖTW.Thermenregion (Hannes Reinisch) also spoke at the press conference. In their collaborative work, the ÖTW estates define themselves as the driving force in furthering quality development, as the motivators and mentors of Austrian wine.
In addition to the Tour de Vin, which brings thousands of wine lovers to the individual estates in springtime, the ÖTW has developed the presentation of wines from the ÖTW.Erste Lage sites (at Schloss Grafenegg at the beginning of September) into a fixed point on the calendar for international wine experts.
The amicable cooperation with the VDP (Verein Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter) in Germany and the STK (Steirische Terroir und Klassikweingüter) in the Steiermark is very important to the ÖTW, striving to establish a harmonised system of classification within the German-language sphere.