The strongest expression for Vinea Wachau quality are the registered trademarks Steinfeder®, Federspiel® and Smaragd®. These brandmarks stand for natural wine production, guaranteed origin and strict control. The wines are considered ambassadors of the Austrian white wine culture – and especially of the World Cultural Heritage Wachau. Not only are the three designations unique in Austria, but a similar example of them cannot be found in all of Europe. Most importantly, the designations serve as an orientation structure for wine lovers, because it allows for dry white wines to be defined according to three weight classes, each of which is based on natural alcohol content.
Fruity charm and a stipulated maximum alcohol content of 11.5% by volume characterize the lightest style of top Vinea Wachau wines - the Steinfeder®. The name itself refers to the typical "Steinfedergras” (Stipa pennata), a grass which grows near the vines in the Wachau´s terraced vineyards; it is light like a feather, and fragrant – just like the wine named after it.
This classic dry wine is distinguished by a strong, nuance-rich character. Federspiel® wines feature a must weight of at least 17° KMW and an alcohol content of between 11.5% and 12.5% by volume. The name Federspiel refers back to the times of falconry, when this favourite form of noble hunting was practiced in the Wachau.
Smaragd is the name for the best, most treasured wines from the Vinea Wachau members. The alcohol content of these wines begin at 12.5% by volume. This, along with the highest grape ripeness and natural concentration are what make this world-class designation possible. Emerald-coloured lizards – also known as Smaragd - are at home in the terraced vineyards of the Wachau. On bright, sunny days, their beauty is highlighted dramatically as they bask in the gleaming sun next to the grapevines – the perfect symbol for the absolute top Wachau wines with full physiological ripeness.