“ Welcome to the Schachenhofer wine estate! ”
A very special place for wine and tradition. Since the very beginning the Schachenhofer family has always been producing highest quality wines and liqueurs.
Consistency, excellent know-how and quality striving are a top priority. Customers can see and taste this in every drop.
“For me, tradition isn't just passing on knowledge to future generations. It is rather breaking new ground together and at the same time finding new opportunities for the wineyards.”
The Schachenhofer wine estate is a member of the Vinea Wachau.
The Schachenhofer family is committed to the charter of pure wine.
For the Vinea Wachau, wine is a completely natural product, one which represents its area of origin and the distinctions of the area as well. The Codex Wachau and the brandmarks Steinfeder®, Federspiel® und Smaragd® are a declaration of dedication to natural wine production and the strictest control.
The wines of the Wachau are inimitable and distinctly marked by their origin. In 1983, the Vinea Wachau producers' association pledged to uphold this character by voluntarily relinquishing their right to buy in grapes or wine from other regions, or cultivate vineyards elsewhere. This has led to a region which is still characterised by small wineries and vineyard holdings. Special attention is paid to the maintenance of the dry stone wall terraces. It is these walls that make the extreme viticulture of the Wachau possible, and they are a deter- mining feature of the Wachau Cultural Landscape.
II Authenticity and character
For the producers of the Wachau, making wine is an artisanal craft. They all agree on the importance of striving to reflect the character of their vineyards and vintages as faithfully as possible. In 1984 they began to create the trademarks Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd to cement this message. By using these names, the members commit to a wine style which reflects regional typicity: dry white wine, made without the addition of sugar, or detectable wood influence. Various factors are expressed in the character of every Wachau wine: topography, soil and weather are fused with each winemaker's dedication and willingness to take a risk.
III Artisanal craft
Technological advancements of the past decades have eased the work of the vintner dramatically. Nevertheless, much in the Wachau remains the way it has always been. Where the vineyards are steepest and work the most toilsome, there are very few opportunities for mechanisation. The rough terrain of steep sites requires disproportionately more labour than vineyards on the plain. However, even in the places where machines could be used, the winemakers still carry out much of the work by hand. All Vinea winemakers are obliged to hand harvest. Picking machines are deliberately not used, even in vineyards where they could theoretically be deployed.
IV Individuality and diversity
The use of vineyard names to describe the wines has a long tradition in the Wachau, where many of the best- known names can be traced back to the 13th century. These names do not just reflect the origin of the grapes, they also describe the character of the wines. The name also often hints at what the vineyard is like, who used to own it, or some local historical event. Over 100 different vineyard sites pay tribute to the complexity arising from the variations in geology, soil, climate and topography. The personal understanding and experience of the winemakers are the final ingredients in reflecting the Wachau's terroir.
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.
Steinfeder®, Federspiel® and Smaragd® are registered trademarks of Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus. Use is limited to its member wineries.