Weingut Piewald

Terraces in the valley

In the valley

If someone moves from Spitz to the North his way leads inevitably into the Spitzer Graben. On less than 10 kilometres, between Laaben and Mühldorf, the way rises continuously and its end is also the end of possible winemaking in the Wachau. The terraces are so steep that if someone would see them detached from its actual context he could easily place them somewhere in the Alps. The vines very often descend through naked stone, covering soil is rare and flat areas don’t exist at all. The climatic conditions are also extreme. Cold winds influence the style of the wine but also help to keep the vines healthy.

Stone on stone

Life is not easy among the vineyards of the Spitzer Graben. A glance up the steep and vast terraces is enough. Schist soils shimmer. Thick and old vines burst their way through hard rock. That it is even possible to grow vines in the steep vineyards of the Zornberg, the Kalkofen and the Biern is due to the centuries old technique of constructing stone-terraces. They literally hold together the Spitzer Graben and additionally create a multiple biosphere for animals and plants. The tradition of constructing the stone-terraces is passed on from one generation to the next and is up to these days the most demanding work of a winemaker in the Wachau region.