The 2015 Smaragd wine list from the best of Wachau tasting at restaurant L'Atelier

Domäne Wachau

It's one of Austria’s most renowned wineries. Steep terraced vineyards, a cool, marginal climate and meagre primary rock soils define the wines. „Smaragd“ stands for complex, full-bodied wines of the Wachau with aging potential.
Gemischter Satz Seiber
This Gemischter Satz (field blend) from the vineyard Seiber comes from a very old vineyard with 80 year old vines, mainly Grüner Veltliner as well as Riesling, Neuburger, Sauvignon Blanc, Brauner Veltliner, Heunisch, Roter Veltliner, Pinot Gris, Rivaner, Gelber Muskateller, Muskat Ottonel, Traminer and other varieties. The Seiber vineyard in Weissenkirchen reaches the highest altitude of all vineyards in the Wachau. Cool climate and gneiss rock distinguish the terroir of this site.
Grüner Veltliner Achleiten
Achleiten is a legendary vineyard in the Wachau village of Weissenkirchen. It is famous for wines with inimitable mineral character. Dry stone walls dating back to the 12th century, which mount the steep slopes with their silicate-rich soil, dominate this vineyard’s landscape. In the upper terraces, gneiss is the prevailing subsoil, the lower terraces are dominated by dark, schistous amphibolites.


Manual care of the terraces is highly intensive (requiring 5 -10 times more work than in vineyards which can accommodate vehicles). And this is why many of the old terraces are in danger of being abandoned - something that would ultimately change the landscape of the Wachau in the future.
Most of the vines are between 30 and 50 years old. Drinkability and age-worthiness are key to all work-related decisions. And working with healthy grapes that have not been exposed to the Botrytis fungus is of the highest priority. This means that fine, extremely elegant wines with a filigree minerality and plenty of tension are created – wines that are likely to be closed in their youth.
Riesling Buschenberg
The terraces lie just to the east of Ried Klaus. This site is relatively unknown because many vintners cultivate small parcels and, until now, no site wines were produced. Great primary rock soils with minimal growth potential yield reductive, minerally and powerful Rieslings with long-term storage life. Vine planting: from 1979.  No machine use possible; pure handwork.

Weinhofmeisterei Mathias Hirtzberger

Together with the famous Hirtzberger family, the decision carried out to establish a new winery in Wösendorf. Some vineyards of the approximately 4 hectare vineyard is among the finest of the Wachau. They are on higher, sun-drenched plateaus above the Danube, produce Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. The heart of the vineyard is the grade II listed house in Wösendorf, which both provides tasting rooms and is home to our guest house "Hofmeisterei Hirtzberger".  The Weinhofmeisterei is a member of the Vinea Wachau nobilis Districtus, area protection Association, the natural origin wines is guaranteed and therefore undertakes the Codex Wachau.
Grüner Vetliner Spitaler (not an official vineyard) 
This location is situated at the foot of the slope of the Jochinger Kolllmitz (still) unknown, but even more concise. Richer, more powerful Löss records this vineyard which produces grapes of high notes.

Weingut Prager

Using the traditional knowledge that has been handed down over generations and the new opportunities created by the present, Toni Bodenstein works to uncover the secrets of terroir, to find out everything that lends itself to exploration, and to get a sense of what remains inscrutable. His passion is to make outstanding wines that mirror the unique qualities of the vineyards from which they come.
Riesling Wachstum Bodenstein
The vineyard Seiber is planted in 1990 with more than 25 different old kinds of riesling. Toni Bodenstein aims to the genetic variation of the Riesling in the Wachau and calls this wine so Wachstum Bodenstein. This is the highest riesling vineyard in the Wachau on 460 meters above sea level aimed at south southwest.

F.X. Pichler

“We believe in vineyard-designated wines – to us, they are challenge, goal and ideal all in one. It is primarily the steep mountainous terraces from the 12th and 13th centuries, which we cultivate and maintain with utmost respect – to us, an exceptional cultural asset.
Around 52 percent is planted to Grüner Veltliner, the major portion being the clones selected by Franz Pichler Sr., around 47 percent boasts Riesling vines and approximately 1 percent is reserved to Sauvignon Blanc. Some 45 percent of the area under vine sprawls across the steeply rising terraces, which can be worked only by hand.
The remaining plots extend at the foot of the mountains and in the plains of the Loiben basin, between Dürnstein and Rothenhof, at the eastern end of Wachau.”
Grüner Veltliner ‘M’
"M" stands for "monumental" and serves to signify our Grüner Veltliner Smaragd® of exceptional complexity and concentration. The first gruner to be awarded this honor, because it presented itself like a landmark, or simply a monument, was one of the 1991 vintage. The grapes for "M" are usually harvested two to three weeks after the fruit for the vineyard-designated wines. Depending on the vintage and growing season, the major portion of "M" is usually sourced from Loibnerberg terraces and a selection of the best fruit from several premium sites.
"M" is always a mystical wine, exhibiting opulence and concise minerality.

Weingut Knoll

Sinds many years it belongs to the absolute top of the Wachau and Austria. The Winery is in possession of the family since 1825. The top vineyards are situated in and around Unterloiben (including Schütt, Kreutles, Pfaffenberg, Loibnerberg and Kellerberg). In addition they buy grapes from ca. 5 acres of wine farmers from the surrounding area. Unterloiben is the easternmost part of the Wachau. 
So modest as the family Knoll is, so striking are their labels. As since the 1960s adorns the Holy St. Urbanis unchanged their label; with a bunch of grapes in his right hand, like a good wine becomes Holy. The label is based on a painting by the local artist Siegried Stoitzner, owned by the family Knoll. Links to the right of Urbanus is a poem written in Gothic letters:

Tut mir nur den / Wein nicht taufen
Lasst ihn doch als / Heiden laufen
Nur der Durst / soll christlich sein
So erweist man / Ehr dem Wein

Riesling Schütt
This vineyard was mentioned for the first time in 1379. It forms a cone on the border between the two municipalities of Dürnstein and Loiben. There are two areas. The in the West vineyard "Dürnsteiner Schütt" is aligned Southeast and consists of weathered soils with silt. Here, only Riesling is cultivated. To the East lies the "Loibner Schütt" with stands of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling.