An extraordinary place - since 2,000 years.
You are certainly recognizing the feeling: You come to a new place and sense something truly special about it. It emanates an extraordinary atmosphere, a unique aura; it seems to have a "spirit" all of its own. In Roman times, there was even a specific term for this: "genius loci" (or "spirit of the place"). The Nikolaihof Wachau definitely fits this description - it's a place full of history and character, radiating the kind of energy that elevates and inspires.
The history of Nikolaihof Wachau in Mautern spans about 2,000 years. It was, at various times, a Celtic place of worship, part of a Roman fort, a bishop's seat and an administrative centre.
The first written reference appeared in the times of the Saint Severin and the Romans around 470 A.D. - the Saint Severin retired to the "Weingebirge" ("burgum ad vineas") for prayer. The present appearance of Nikolaihof shows many historic traces. The remains of the ancient Roman fortification can still be encountered throughout the entire estate.
The Saahs family & viticulture: a special symbiosis.
The Nikolaihof Wachau is a very special place that invigorates the people who live and spend time here. With almost 2,000 years of history, the estate is the oldest winery in Austria, and one of the first in the world to have begun operating by biodynamic principles. The estate has been owned by the Saahs family since 1894.
The traditional family winery runs a total of approx. 50 acres (22 ha) of vineyard, cultivating predominantly Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Neuburger grapes and a rage of complementary varieties.
Letting nature take its course, interfering as little as possible, and giving the wines plenty of time to develop - that's de wine-growing philosophy of Nikolaus Saahs. It's something you can certainly taste in his wines, which are focused, full of flavour and youthful longevity, complex, with a modest alcohol content, and reflect the terroir perfectly.
Vineyards like beautiful gardens.
The vineyards of Nikolaihof are situated in a remarkably privileged region: Wachau, one of the most beautiful river landscapes in Europe, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and place of origin of some of the best white wines in the world. Its climate and geological conditions are ideal for white wine, and it is precisely here where the Saahs family vineyards lie - with melodic-sounding names such as "Im Weingebirge", "Vom Stein", "Steiner Hund" and "Klausberg".
The mild breezes of the Danube region are ideal for the growth of Riesling and Veltliner. Also Gelber Muskateller, Neuburger and Gewürztraminer reach their optimum qualities.
Nikolaus Saahs is with his vines every day to uphold a close relationship between man and nature. He observes, checks, tastes, and lets the grapes develop until the time is ripe for harvesting and they are ready to enter the historic cellar of Nikolaihof.
Developing character in the wine cellar.
After undergoing careful and mild pressing procedures, Nikolaihof wines are fermented with natural yeasts, thus developing their excellent character. Lastly, they find their way into the estate's historic wine cellar, which was built in a Roman crypt. Here, Nikolaus Saahs gives his wines exactly the time they need to mature. The light "Federspiel" wines come from the previous year's vintage, whilst "Smaragd" wines are aged longer in the cellar. Some wines stay here for up to 20 years in some of the 2,000 to 12,000 litre oak barrels.
The results are Demeter-certified wines of the highest quality, which taste wonderful and travel right around the world: Around 70 per cent of the wines are supplied to over 35 countries and much enjoyed in the USA, Japan, Italy, Australia and many other places. In addition to award-winning wines, other delicacies are produced such as Marillenröster (stewed apricots), mustard fruits, schnapps, liqueurs, juices and the biodynamic Demeter-certified skincare dieNikolai.
Idyllic ambience and sophisticated hospitality.
Of course a place like Nikolaihof Wachau not only cultivates wine, but also celebrates and enjoys it to the full.
The excellent cuisine created by Christine Saahs appeals to all senses, and is best enjoyed over a special glass of wine. The organic certified Wine Tavern offers guests a traditional and festive rage of rooms, as well as an enchanting atmosphere in the courtyard under the linden tree. And of course Nikolaihof is the perfect venue for a splendid celebration. Its festive rooms offer a wonderful ambience for weddings of all sizes and are a perfect location for christenings, birthdays, confirmations and company parties.
Just a few steps from Nikolaihof Wachau is the "ad vineas" Nikolaihof Guesthouse. The stylish and comfortable rooms and apartments are set in a peaceful location: Together with a natural pool and sauna house, it all makes for a truly rejuvenating stay. It's the perfect place to relax and unwind.