Wine Buying Guides

Two new regions are joining the ÖTW

by Dorli Muhr
ÖTW Pressekonferenz

The Österreichische Traditionsweingüter (ÖTW) – by far the most important growers’ alliance in the Austrian wine scene ­– continues to grow. At a press conference on 23 May during Vienna’s international wine fair VieVinum, ÖTW chairman Michael Moosbrugger announced two new additions: the Thermenregion region having joined earlier that month and the region of Weinviertel following within the next two years.

Nine estates in the Thermenregion can now call themselves Österreichische Traditionsweingüter (Traditional wine estates of Austria): Alphart, Familie Auer, Leo Aumann, Gebeshuber, Heinrich Hartl III, Landauer-Gisperg, Schneider, Johanneshof Reinisch and Stadlmann. Thermenregion chairman Hannes Reinisch is very pleased that his region has taken this important step and hopes that more of his colleagues will join the alliance. Membership in the ÖTW.Thermenregion requires a wine producer to be certified organic or sustainable and stipulates that neither herbicides nor insecticides are used in the vineyards. The current objective of the Österreichische Traditionsweingüter is to grow from a regional association to a national organisation. Their classification of Austria’s vineyards, which the Traditionsweingüter first undertook some thirty years ago, will likely be incorporated into Austrian Wine Law in the near future as a standard regulation applicable to all wine producers in the country. Schloss Gobelsburg’s Michael Moosbrugger, current chairman of the Federal ÖTW, considers this a very realistic prospect.

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.

About Österreichische Traditionsweingüter

Not only did Wine&Partners manage the market début of this association of traditional growers twenty years ago, but since then we have regularly organised & conducted their major events, such as the 2010 introduction of the DAC-based vineyard classification system, and the revolutionary comprehensive presentation of the Erste Lage wines in 2012 & 2014, along with Steiermark’s STK & Germany’s VDP, when Wine&Partners delivered the cream of the journalistic crop.

Bundesverband Österreichische Traditionsweingüter
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Österreichische Traditionsweingüter

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Geschäftsführerin und Eigentümerin, Dorli Muhr
Dorli Muhr
Owner & Managing Director

Dorli, a university-trained translator, founded Wine+Partners in 1991 while still a student. With tremendous passion and tenacity, she has helmed the firm for more than 30 years, transforming it from a one-woman show into an internationally renowned agency.