Erste Lage -
The awareness that great wines only thrive in great vineyards, is legacy of hundreds of years of our winegrowing history and is part of the philosophy of the Austrian Traditionsweingüter. The classification "Erste Lage" (Premium Site, First Growth) identifies the best vinyards of the Danube region.
The same quality does not grow everywhere. There is an age-old wisdom amongst vintners that there are vineyards which, when carefully tended each year, consistently yield exceptional wines, while other vineyards only deliver good or somewhat mediocre wines. Some parameters for maintaining excellent vineyards are well-known. But this cannot be looked at as a single fact in itself, because meager soils alone - for example - are not responsible for the growth of a great wine. There is always the essential combination of soil structure, rainfall, air flow, exposition, height and, of course, temperatures throughout the year – especially their day and nighttime differences. Until now, it has not been possible for scientifically-based comparisons and evaluations to be made of the world's terroirs. The vintners however, especially those whose families have been growing vines in the same locations for generations, know exactly which sites are yielding wines with the utmost finesse, the richest character, the longest life - year after year. Based on these qualities and considerations, the Österreichischen Traditionsweingüter - the Association of Austrian Traditional Wine Estates - was founded in 1992 with the purpose of classifying those outstanding vineyard sites of the Danube region.
For nearly two decades, the members of this association have carefully observed and analyzed the development of each others' wines from the sites along the Danube in the winegrowing areas of Kamptal, Kremstal, Traisental and Wagram. The result of the analysis was presented with the "Classification 2010", in which 52 vineyards were designated as "Erste Lage (First Growth)". In the coming years, this will be refined and verified, of course – meaning that the vineyards could either become even more significant or else could they prove to be no longer adequate for the "Erste Lage" status.
Brand of "Erste Lage"