The Kremstal region of Austria is located between the Kamptal and the Wachau regions on the Danube River in Lower Austria (Niederösterreich). Kremstal is named after the town of Krems. The Kremstal is known for mineral white wines, especially Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, both of which can be bottled under the Kremstal DAC. This reputation is shared with two other famous areas, Wachau and Kamptal – both of which neighbour the Kremstal.
Wines: Kremstal DAC. | Niederösterreich.
Vineyards: 2,368 ha.
Vineyard sites: Kremser Pfaffenberg. | Kremser Kreisleiten. | Kremser Weinzierlberg.
Grape varieties: Blauer Wildbacher (r). | Blaufränkisch (r). | Frühroter Veltliner (w). | Grüner Veltliner (w). | Neuburger (w). | Roter Veltliner (r). | Rotgipfler (w). | St Laurent (r). | Zierfandler (w).
Key towns: South of the Danube one finds the municipalities of Furth, Palt, Krustetten, Hollenburg, Oberfucha and Tiefenfucha, watched over by the Benedictine Order’s magisterial Göttweig Abbey, founded in 1072 and visible far and wide. In this part of the winegrowing region, many small traditional wine taverns contribute to preserving the quaint and down-home character of the Kremstal. Other towns include Gedersdorf, Krems, Rohrendorf, Senftenberg and | Stein.
Terroir–three zones: The vineyards in Kremstal are divided into three different zones, (1) starting with rocky (granite) soils in the original Krems River valley and the historic town of Krems, along with the municipality of Stein that adjoins the Wachau in the west; (2) then on to the deep loess east of Krems; (3) and finally the Danube’s southern bank opposite Krems, around the magnificent Stift Göttweig abbey.
The town of Krems, especially the part called ‘Stein’, is geologically similar to the neighbouring Wachau (mostly weathered crystalline bedrock soils) so Grüner Veltliner and Riesling predominate. Wines with similar characteristics are also found in Senftenberg, as well as in the quaint wine villages along the banks of the eponymous little river Krems.
The vineyards to the east of Krems, toward the villages of Rohrendorf and Gedersdorf, have a completely different soil structure, one of deep loess terraces for a softer, more opulent style of Veltliner. Beyond the southern bank of the Danube are the wine villages of Furth, Palt, Krustetten, Hollenburg, Oberfucha and Tiefenfucha, lying beneath the monumental Benedictine abbey Stift Göttweig, which was founded in 1072.
Climate: Kremstal gets cool and humid northern breezes from the nearby Waldviertel interacting with warm and dry eastern winds from the Pannonian plain. Hence despite being further west than neighbouring Wachau and Kamptal Kremstal benefits from warmer air currents. The river valley is well protected against cool north winds, and gets warm air currents from the east and the Pannonia plain.
Nikki Moser of Weingut Sepp Moser (of Weingut Sepp Moser, see link below) says the Kremstal area is characterized by a permanent exchange of air masses with differing temperatures. While in the east, continental dry and hot air comes up the Danube valley, the cool air from the Waldviertel (Forest Quarter; Central Bavarian: Woidviadl) region to the north streams down the valley of the Krems river. As a result, there are repeated, significant drops in temperatures, especially at night – something that favours, above all, the fruitiness and freshness of the wines.
Geology: Geologically related to the westerly adjacent Wachau, soils of weathered primordial rock that are ideal for Riesling prevail in the urban precincts and the surrounding area. The vineyards to the east of the city of Krems are quite different. Here vast loess terraces, such as those in the wine villages Rohrendorf and Gedersdorf, not only give the landscape a very special charm, but also shape a somewhat rounder style of Grüner Veltliner.
South of the Danube one finds the municipalities of Furth, Palt, Krustetten, Hollenburg, Oberfucha and Tiefenfucha, watched over by the Benedictine Order’s magisterial Göttweig Abbey, founded in 1072 and visible far and wide. In this part of the wine growing region, many small traditional wine taverns contribute to preserving the quaint and down-home character of the Kremstal.
Single vineyard wines: A number of single vineyard sites such as Pfaffenberg, Kögl, Wachtberg, Sandgrube, Pellingen, Gebling, Spiegel and Steinbühel produce distinctively characterful wines.
Wine styles: Grüner Veltliner and Riesling whites are renowned (see Kremstal DAC), with lesser amounts of Weissburgunder. Red wines are also made.
No certification: Nigl (Senftenberg).