Meet Austria's newest DAC...
The Wachau Valley is one of Austria's most established wine regions, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the leading wine producing regions of the world. On May 8, 2020, the Austrian Wine Marketing Board officially announced that Wachau is now a Districtus Austriae Controllatus (DAC). This new legal designation on a wine label assures the consumer of receiving a Qualitätswein (quality wine) typical of the region. A Wachau DAC wine is vinified from grapes harvested exclusively in that region, may only be produced from the grape varieties specified for that region and must comply with all the requirements of the regulation laid down by the respective region.
Austria already imposed very stringent wine laws and have now taken this further step on the path of origin based marketing. Along with the prestige of the new Wachau DAC designation comes three new categories that reference an increasingly stricter list of new regulations: Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (“villages” wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine). All the winegrowers have committed themselves to hand harvesting on all three levels. Wachau's stylistic categories Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd will remain in use.
Still pending approval from the EU, the new regulations were authorized by Austria’s Ministry of Agriculture, Regions & Tourism and signed into law by federal minister Elisabeth Köstinger. Consumers can expect to see the Wachau DAC designation on wine labels as of the 2020 vintage for approved wines.
Cheers to Wachau!