Weingut Piewald

Vinea Wachau

Codex Wachau

Vinea Wachau

Wine is a natural product. Since a long time grapes grow in woods, on fields and terraces. But wine is also a cultural achievement, a highly sophisticated beverage developed by mankind. Its essential significance is deeply rooted in history and tradition and its processing was frequently subject of new ideas and modification. Especially in the last few decades the vineyard and cellar work changed dramatically. Wine got increasingly industrialised while the technological progress was amazing. The CODEX WACHAU, a charter conceived by the Vinea Wachau, an association of Wachau winemakers, guarantees the consumer a natural, not manipulated product. The members of the organisation, among them also me, commit themselves:

  • to vinify only grapes that grow in the Wachau
  • to not chaptalize and concentrate their wines
  • to not flavour their wines
  • to harvest by hand


The flyweight among the three-stage hierarchy of the Wachau weight-categories. The maximum alcohol content is 11, 5%. It is mostly produced as a young-to-drink-wine. Steinfeder are a rare exception in my program and are just produced in very cool years and even then physiological ripeness has to be reached.

Federspiele combine fruit and freshness, vitality and character and represent their origin. They are the golden mean, the welterweight among Wachau wines. Its name derives from the prey-dummies of falconers, a hobby-horse which was once popular in the region. Enologically they are much more than a delicate alternative to the Smaragd category, Wachau’s highest ranked wines. If they are vinified meticulously, Federspiele mature as well as their big brothers. It is obligatory that they are produced in a dry style and the alcohol content has to be between 12,00 and 12,99%. These requirements mostly provide fresh wines with a vivid texture and a compact body. They are ideal everyday wines which accompany a lot of different food.


The heavy weight among the Wachau wines, but one with a lot of muscles and power instead of opulence and ampleness. The preconditions therefore are quite well in the Spitzer Graben. The climate is generally harsher than a few kilometres further at the Danube, the winds are cooler and the difference between day and night is bigger. Additionally the wines are maturing on even higher terraces where the vegetation period is a week or two longer. Wines in the Smaragd category have more than 12,5% alcohol and they are usually the peak of the Wachau quality system. In an ideal case they are complex, concentrated, dense, elegant, compact and persistent wines with a long live ahead of them.