E. African Trip Nairobi – Kenya
I had a late flight from Vienna, and my stopover in Dubai lasted almost 3 hours. I couldn’t wait to land in Nairobi. But most importantly the thought running through my mind was that of my checked – in luggage being intact and off course not lost. The wait at the baggage pickup area seemed like forever. I was nervous, impatient, thirsty and tired. Click here for More
This was one memorable event. We were there on time and started off with honey, followed by cheese, beer and ending up off course with Wine. For pictures click HERE
The vineyards Kamp , Kremstal and Traisental are joining hands: More than 150 wineries open on 26th and 27th April its vineyards and cellars and invite you to a wine spring, as you have never seen before.
Of course, the tasting of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling from Kamptal DAC , DAC Kremstal and Traisental DAC are the focus , but also lighter , fragrant summer wines and other classics of the areas will be available to try.A minibus will be available on call and guests can move around for only 1 euro per person per trip within the Kamptal and along the Kamp . A helicopter will even take off with all those who want to see the Traisental vineyards from the top.Click HERE for the guide.
What does DAC mean?
Well, I actually got to read this term on a bottle, and never really asked about it, untill at one wine tasting event, someone mentioned it. I didn’t quite understood them, so I went into reading about it and here I used some websites which explained DAC in a layman language.
It all started in 2002, an idea from Weinviertel. It is the biggest, most diffuse vine growing region with a third of the entire country’s vine plantings, and with arguably one of the least well-recognized names, even now. It’s easy to understand that pinning its colors to the mast of a single grape variety might help the region to develop a clearer image both domestically and on export markets, even though at least 35 different grape varieties are grown in the region.
What DAC does, is find which one or two grape varieties each region has been doing best for some years. It then retro-fits these varieties in each region into an appellation system, enshrining in law the ‘typical’ style for each selected grape variety that has evolved over the last quarter of a century and longer.
The idea is that consumers, rather than being confused by the plethora of producers and varieties, will be able to choose a DAC wine, knowing approximately what style of wine to expect, as they might do now for Bordeaux or Côtes du Rhône.
Another major benefit of an appellation system is geographic protection. The EU brought in new wine laws in 2009, effectively bringing wine under the same labeling as food, for example Parma ham can only come from Parma, Stilton can only come from three named counties in England, Jersey Royal potatoes from Jersey etc. All have a ‘protected designation of origin’ or PDO. It protects a unique product/place combination.
The new wine laws effectively made all top level wine appellations the equivalent of PDO – so AoC in France, DOC/G in Italy, DO/Ca in Spain … and DAC in Austria are all PDO. Some producers may choose to label their wines as such, while others may keep to the well established monikers.
DAC wine must conform to certain style parameters, agreed within each region, and it is awarded on an annual basis by a blind-tasting panel. And it highlights that if DAC is meeting minimum standards then this must be good news for consumers. Wines that have failed the DAC taste test are labelled just with the generic region. In the case of Weinviertel, Niederösterreich.
Any so-called ‘quality wines’ (one of those EU definitions, meaning PDO wines) from grüner veltliner made outside of the DAC rules in Weinviertel, and all wines made from any of the other 30+ grape varieties grown in Weinviertel must be labelled simply as Niederösterreich. The idea here is to continue to allow freedom of expression by individual growers using any of the 35 grape varieties permitted for this top level of wine – quality, or PDO, wine.
Since 2002, another six regions have signed up to DAC. In all but one either grüner veltliner and riesling or blaufränkisch are the chosen varieties.
In the Danube basin, Kamptal, Kremstal and Traisental have adopted DAC for grüner veltliner and riesling, which in all three areas comprise nearly two-thirds of plantings. In all three regions, both classic and reserve interpretations are permitted.
In Burgenland, Mittelburgenland and Eisenberg have declared classic and reserve DAC for blaufränkisch. Still in Burgenland, Leithaberg has broken the mould slightly by creating DAC for red, from blaufränkisch, and white from any of weissburgunder (pinot blanc), chardonnay, neuburger and grüner veltliner, singly or in combination.
Classification of Austrian wines – Wachau
The Wachau region in the Danube valley was the first to develop their system of wine classification. This was called the Vinea Wachau formed in 1984 from a group of top producers in the region. The classification was based on a three tier classification system, which refers to the must weight, and the alcohol content in the wine which then determines the wine.
The three labels below are used exclusively by Wachau wines – most commonly dry, white Riesling and Gruner Veltliner but also the occasional rosé made from Zweigelt.
The word ‘Steinfeder’ means ‘Stone feather’, coming from the feather like grass that grows on the Wachau’s stony terraces. These wines are allowed to contain no more that 11.5% alcohol and a must weight between 15°- 17°KMV.
The wine is fresh, delicately scented, fruity and mainly drunk locally. Due to its lower alcohol %, the drinker can enjoy a glass or two without really worrying. They are mostly made from the first picked grapes in the Wachau and also fetch the lowest prices.
The name comes from a falcon that is frequently hunted in Wachau. The minimum must weight is 17°KMW and should contain between 11.5% and 12.5% alcohol level. Due to the higher alcohol content it is strongly flavored and regularly exported.
The term Federspiel literally means “spring game” and refers back to the heritage of falconry associated with the Wachau. It is more strongly flavored and in contrast to Steinfeder, is routinely exported.
The name refers to a typical, emerald green lizard which basks in Wachau’s sun baked stone terraces. It is the mostly priced wine in the tier and must contain at least 12.5% alcohol and are made from grapes with the highest level of ripeness and concentration of sugars, and must weight of 18,5°KMW. These wines are also the most suitable for aging.
A note: these classifications can only be used by member wineries of the Codex Wachau and are only used for white wines grown in the region.
Next classification: DAC