1990 a small group of vintners from the Danube areas Kremstal and Kamptal (Lower Austria) began to get together regularly to discuss their passion wine. In particular the vineyards – soil, climate and variety – and their connection with quality and identity of the wine were in the center of discussion.
Finally, it was decided to give their common interests a solid basis by founding the association of “Traditionsweingüter Österreich” (Traditional Austrian Winemakers). The intention was to identify and understand the diverse soils, the microclimate of the different vineyards and the impact of these factors on the varieties. Geologists, oenologists and ampelographers have been consulted to investigate a question of everlasting validity: how do these conditions support quality and character in the wine?
With this approach, the Traditionsweingüter created something totally new in Austria: an attempt to classify the classic vineyards objectively. The awareness that great wines only thrive in great vineyards is inherent in this philosophy. The terms “Klassifizierte Lage” (cf. Appelation Controlée in Burgundy), “Erste Lage” (cf. Premier Cru) and “Große Erste Lage” (cf. Grand Cru) were thus determined. The truth lying in this philosophy is extensively acknowledged today. The gained experience helps to incorporate values of the past into an active present and future. Fine, authentic wine is rewarded by great popularity among consumers. The aspiration of the Traditionsweingüter joins the wishes of the quality-conscious wine-amateurs who seek the real and authentic produce.
This position of the Traditionsweingüter is an antithesis to wine as a uniform mass product lacking any individuality or identifiability. Open discussions, however, should also sharpen self-criticism and improve our awareness regarding our environment.
The members of the Traditionsweingüter regard it as their obligation to express the characteristics of their areas, soils, climate, varieties and their cellars in their wines. Their wine bears witness to where it comes from. In the cellars of the Traditionsweingüter, wines which do not hide their personality but show it with dignity mature.