Niederosterreich, also known as Lower Austria, is one of the four major wine-producing regions in Austria. It is located in the northeast of the country, near the border with Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Niederosterreich accounts for nearly 50% of the nation’s total wine output and is also Austria’s largest wine region. By far, the two most popular grape varietals are Gruner Veltliner and Riesling. In addition, a number of other grapes are grown in the region, including Chardonnay, Zweigelt, Pinot Noir, and Saint-Laurent.
There are 8 different wine sub-regions within Niederosterreich: Wachau, Kremstal, Kamptal, Traisental, Wagram, Weinviertel, Carnuntum and Thermenregion. Across these 8 sub-regions, there are three different types of climate. For example, Weinviertel (“Wine Quarter”) has a cool and dry climate, which contributes to the freshness and acidity of its wines. In contrast, Wachau, Kamptal, Kremstal, and Thermenregion all have a relatively moderate climate. Finally, Carnuntum in the southeast is known for having a warmer climate that is particularly well-suited for red grape varietals.
The terroir within Niederosterreich can vary significantly. For example, Weinviertel is flat, while Wachau and Kamptal are known for having steep, terraced vineyards.
Niederosterreich has a rich winemaking history that dates back to the Bronze Age. Moreover, there is evidence of extensive Roman experience with viticulture here. During the Middle Ages, monks were responsible for building the steep terraced vineyards of Wachau. The city of Wagram is now home to a major wine research center, as well as the nation’s oldest wine producer, Stift Klosterneuburg.