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With its more than 1000-year history, Krems is an age-old witness to Austria's rich winemaking tradition. In tracing the city's history of back through time, we pass through the Middle Ages to the Roman and Celtic Eras and beyond to the Early Stone Age. The cultivation of grapes and winemaking have been closely linked to the settlement of the Krems region since time immemorial.
Besides unique soils and ideal climatic conditions, the quality of wine here is attributable first and foremost to the work in the vineyards - Krems winemakers set great store by ecological, natural and environmentally friendly methods of production.
Grapes of superb quality thrive in the vineyards of Krems, Stein, Egelsee, Rehberg, Gneixendorf, Hollenburg, Angern and Thallern. Of particular note are the classic Krems varieties Grüner Veltliner and Riesling.
Lovers of good wine enjoy ready access to the cellars of Krems winemakers, the Heurige (as the wine taverns of eastern Austria are called) and the wine tasting shops run by top quality wineries, and of course, to the city's own wine estate.
Krems and the Wachau as a wine region
Quality viticulture in the Krems wine region is shaped primarily by two factors: the climate and the soil.
The land in and around Krems is in a favorable climatic area where two climate zones meet. The Pannonian climate from the east ensures hot, dry days while the fresher, oxygen-rich air from the Waldviertel in the north is responsible for the cool nights. These temperature fluctuations enhance the development of the wines` aroma. During the day, the stone walls in the terraced vineyards are warmed by the sun. At night, the walls release this heat, which is then absorbed by the vines.
Primary rock terraces and conglomerate soils create ideal conditions for fruity, elegant wines. The massif of the Bohemian Plateau with a loess layer up to 25 m thick is one of the oldest geological formations in Central Europe and provides perfect conditions for winegrowing.
Excellent grapes thrive on the terraced vineyards so typical of Krems.
Photograph (c) Gregor Semrad