The World’s Best Vineyards is not just any award list. The jury is exclusive, and so are the rated wine estates. Around 500 international sommeliers, wine critics and tourism experts have voted Domäne Wachau the Best Vineyard in Europe and ranked them third worldwide. Listed farther down are well-known names such as Châteaus Margaux and Mouton-Rothschild from Bordeaux, Ridge from the USA, as well as Henschke, Gaja, Antinori and numerous others from the rest of the world.
With its maze of 300-year-old cellars, its Baroque castle and its pick of every prime vineyard site in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wachau, Domäne Wachau tops the lot. For the past 15 years, under the expert stewardship of managing director Roman Horvath MW and winemaker Heinz Frischengruber, this historic winery has established itself as a must-visit, quality-orientated wine destination.
Originally run by the monastery of Dürnstein, Domäne Wachau these days produces as much as one-third of the wines of the entire Wachau region – including expressions from every single-vineyard site. Its talent is that it is able to sustain such high quality despite high volumes: with its balance of respect for local terroir and tradition, and unrivalled technical know-how, Domäne Wachau offers stunning Riesling and Grüner Veltliner wines at every quality level.
“There is no question that this is one of the finest co-operatives in Europe. If all of the estates here consistently bottled this level of quality, the Wachau would soon be a household word in remote parts of the world.” ~ Antonio Galloni
“Some of the best co-op produced wines I have ever encountered. There have been several different eras of management, but the current team really seems to be on top form.” ~ Jancis Robinson MW
“Led by mastermind and director Roman Horvath MW and his technical manager Heinz Frischengruber, Austria's best cooperative is currently investing a fortune into new facilities, mainly for aging and storing. In any case, this is one of the best equipped wineries in Lower Austria, and the range of terraced grands crus vineyards between Dürnstein and Spitz, specifically Rossatz, is unrivalled anyway. The resulting wines are impressive reflections of the different terroirs, and they are available at still very reasonable prices.” ~ Robert Parker, Wine Advocate