The tradition of viticulture dates back to Roman times. Vine cultures are mentioned as early as the end of the 5th century in the “Vita Severini” of Eugippius. Wine became the region’s most important cultural asset no later than this time.
The Wachau wine region begins on the left bank of the Danube at Rothenhof, halfway between Stein and Unterloiben, and at the right bank in Mautern. The landscape is characterised by steep terraces with impressive dry stone walls. Managing these takes lots of back-breaking and time-consuming manual labour. The barren prehistoric rock soils and the climatic conditions of the Danube valley determine the character of the Wachau wines.
The wine region of the Kremstal takes in the vineyards around the town of Krems as well as the Kremstal valley itself and extends as far as Göttweiger Berg and to Hollenburg south of the Danube. The soils are dominated by loess with the addition of prehistoric rock and gravel. The influence of the warm, pannonic climate from the east allows the development of full-bodied wines.
The Wachau’s most important source of income is tourism. Visitors to the Wachau are often older, well to do, come in summer and an above average share is from Germany. Visitors from the surrounding conurbations also come on regular day trips to the Wachau. While some areas of the Wachau scarcely benefit from tourism, this activity occasionally takes on problematic dimensions in other areas. The goal of the work done by the tourism organisations is therefore not least to equalise the flows of tourists within the region. Quality trumps quantity when it comes to growth. As the regional management team, we support the work of the tourism organisations by funding projects and providing general advice on regional policy. Key projects were most recently implemented within the scope of the strategic initiative Wachau 2010. They include the successful project World Heritage Trail Wachau, the World Heritage Centre in Krems-Stein, the reorganisation of the touristic guidance system, and the restructuring of the regional tourist information offices.