Wie Geht’s, leute? Kamptal, the wine-growing area of Niederösterreich, or Lower Austria, has gained DAC appellation status.
This means that winemakers can only use the Kamptal name for wines made from Grüner Veltliner and Riesling grapes along with some additional criteria for a more precise wine profile of their area.
Starting this year, there will be two permitted designations:
- Kamptal DAC
- Kamptal DAC Reserve
Both will be for Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings.
With this step, the winemakers are trying to emphasise a sense of place, terroir or geographic typicity associated with their little corner of the wine world.
It’s AOC in France, DOC in Italy and DO in Spain. DAC is Austria’s equivalent and means Districtus Austriae Controllatus.
The Kamptal region is only the fifth Austrian region to utilise the DAC appellation system after Weinviertel, Mittelburgenland, Kremstal and Traisental.
DAC: it’s a guarantee
What this means is there’s a guarantee the grapes are from the Kamptal and should therefore express a characteristic aroma and taste from the area.
As well as the grape varieties, the DAC also defines standards around the style of maturation and quality control.
According to Fred Loimer, a well known producer in the area and the head of the Regional Committee,
“We are not establishing a new brand, but are focusing on the essential points – these are the typicity and the uniqueness of our region. Grüner Veltliner and Riesling ripen here in the Kamp area – and the Danube region overall – in a very special way – one which you cannot find anywhere else in the world.”
Geography and typicity
Whenever you bring geography into play on the label, you often here the words “typicity” or “terroir”. Australia, New Zealand and the US have made similar moves over the last number of years.
“This is a logical step, because the climate conditions here in the Danube area are very specific,”
says Michael Moosbrugger, head of the Österreichische Traditionsweingüter association.
“And, together we are able to make the typicity of our wines better known, especially abroad.”
When does Kamptal kick off?
The first Kamptal DAC wines will be from the 2008 vintage and are due out over the next couple of months. It will be wines from either Grüner Veltliner or Riesling that have been grown only in Kamptal vineyards and with an alcohol content of between 12% and 12.5 %.
The Kamptal DAC Reserve wines will be out from April and must have an alcohol content of at least 13%.
Kamptal – named after the Kamp river
The Kamp river is about 150 kilometres long, flows from north to south, into the Danube near Krems. The river winds through the landscape of primitive rock, which was formed around 4 billion years ago. Here, on the slopes – and often on terraced ones – vines have been planted for more than 2,000 years.