A Little Note On Wauchau Valley Wines

By: Cris Drugan ISA-AM, MIPAV-OS

Located in Austria along the Danube River between the village of Melk and Krems, Wauchau is a small wine region in the Western part of the country that usually accounts for only around 3% of Austria’s wine production. Terraced vineyards consist of rock with intermittent layers of silt, clay & sand. Wauchau uses a classification system based on alcohol levels. 1) The lightest wines, Steinfeder, for wines with an alcohol level under 11.5% 2) and the ripest, Federspeil, for wines between 11.5 and 12.5% alcohol and 3) Smaragd, for wines over 12.5% alcohol. Wines from Wachau are labeled by varietal with the listed varietal needing to constitute at least 85% of the blend. Similarly, at least 85% of the grapes from a given harvest must come from the vintage year on the label.

I tried two wines from Wauchau on my recent trip through the area.

Stift Meck Jamek

Jochinger Stewwand Reisling


€9.90 = $13.86

Purchased at Melk Abby




Reisling Lösslagen Kremstal DAC


€7.90 = $11.06

Purchased in Melk


Both wines were a dry reisling, a bit one dimensional with a grapeiness that you would expect to find in a French Hybrid from PA or NY, not from an Austrian Reisling.

While on the river cruise, their “House Wines” were a Grüner Veltliner that was at best quaffable, and a red wine that was well… a red wine. One evening they did pour a Sylvaner in a bocksbeutel shaped bottle. I didn’t get the vintner, but this was the best wine of the trip. It had several layers of ripe fruit flavors and a respectable length aftertaste. This should have been their “House Wine”.

Definitely not what I was expecting, and might I say, a little disappointed.

About The Author

I am the Principal at Emerald Art Services, LLC and a “qualified appraiser” with an ISA-AM designation from the International Society of Appraisers since 1999.In 2013, I was accepted as an Overseas Member of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers in Ireland. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Kent State University and I am pursuing my Masters of Art, in Art History and a Certified Specialist of Wine certification through the Society of Wine Educators.

Visit Cris Drugan ISA-AM, MIPAV-OS's web site