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Responsible for 33% of Austria's vineyard area, the Weinviertel is one of Austria's most recognized regions as it became the country's first classfied DAC in 2003 based upon the 2002 vintage. The Weinviertel is most famously known for its Gruener Veltliner wines. Although the designated style of wine - pale yellow to pale green-yellow in color with peppery-spice and delicate fruit flavor integration has long since been the norm, this legal classification drew attention to Austria's indigenous grape thus putting the Weinviertel on the map. Other important grapes within the region are Zweigelt, Blauer Portugieser and Welshriesling. The Weinviertel is divided into three areas: western Weinviertel, northern Weinviertel and south eastern Weinviertel. Western Weinviertel is known for the city of Retz which features a historic labyrinth of underground wine cellars. This portion of the Weinviertel is known for both its reds and its white wines. The north eastern section of the Weinviertel is important for sparkling wine production, centered around the important wine making town of Poysdorf. Here, Gruener Veltliner and Welsh Riesling dominate the loess soils of the area. The south eastern portion of the Weinviertel Riesling, Pinot varieties and Traminer dominate due to the Pannonian climate influence near the winemaking village of Mannersdorf and stemming off the river March which leads into the Danube. The closer to Vienna one travels the more pronounced and rich the Riesling wines become, particularly in the wine-growing town of Wolkersdorf. More about the DAC: The only classified grape variety in the Weinviertel is Gruener Veltliner. This grape can be produced in two levels: Klassik or Reserve. Klassik: Min alcohol 12%abv. Aromatic, spicy, pepper notes, no botrytis, no oak. Max 6 g/l residual sugar. Made available to the consumer on the 1st of March following the harvest. Reserve: Min alcohol 13%abv. Dry, full-bodied, spicy, subtle oak and/or botrytis allowed. Made available to the consumer March 15th the year following the harvest. Noteable wine estates from the Weinviertel: R. & A. Pffafl, Wein-Wimmer, Hans and Uli Setzer, Wine Estate Hofbauer, and many more. – Description from Constance Chamberlain

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