The Österreichischen Traditionsweingüter cast their vote for patience

(Ingezonden bericht)

Erste Lage wines now to be released starting in September

In their last general assembly, the Österreichischen Traditionsweingüter (Austrian Heritage Wine Estates) passed a resolution to give further acknowledgement to wines of the highest quality level: in order to allow optimal maturity, wines from Erste Lage (First Growth, premier cru) vineyard sites will be held back from release until September by all members of the association.

This will offer the wines a chance to better develop their stylistic expression and unique character — before they are consumed. The new regulation is effective with vintage 2012 and wine connoisseurs are already curious how the new regulation will influence the vintage.

Twenty-three premium wine estates in the districts Kamptal, Kremstal, Traisental and Wagram are members of the association Österreichischen Traditionsweingüter, which for some twenty years has devoted itself to researching and identifying the best and most particularly distinctive vineyard sites. In 2010 they began the process of classifying vineyard sites in the Danubian regions, which remains a work in progress.

The wines, currently produced from sixty-two sites recognised as Erste Lage (by the twenty-three members of the association plus nine more fine estates in the Danubian winegrowing districts), will now first be released to the market beginning in September of the year following the harvest.

Chairman Michael Moosbrugger of the Traditionsweingüter tells us: “Many of our member estates had already implemented this decision on a voluntary basis; their positive experiences have now evolved into a common guideline for the membership. We know that the finer wines simply take more time to develop and display their individual character. And it’s a sad fact of the matter that a significant percentage of bottles are opened before the wine is quite ready to demonstrate its true potential.

With this new arrangement, the Traditionsweingüter wish to pay appropriate respect to their finest wines, and to demonstrate a unity of purpose by unanimously adopting this practice.

Premiere Presentation in Grafenegg
The Österreichischen Traditionsweingüter have not only dedicated themselves to wine as an expression of Austrian culture, but are also an active sponsor of the cultural centre at Schloss Grafenegg. For this reason, the initial presentation of the Erste Lage wines will take place during the Grafenegg Summer Music Festival.

The premiere of the Erste Lage wines will be accompanied by a concert played by an orchestra of international quality in the Wolkenturm performance space or in the newly constructed concert hall in Grafenegg. In this manner, wine and musical culture will come together in the finest and most pleasurable fashion, providing a visible—and audible—sign that the Traditionsweingüter take quality seriously in every respect.


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