Geology of the Wachau
The vines of the Wachau are rooted in an astounding variety of distinctive soil and underlying rock structures. An array of gneiss dominates, formed under extreme pressure and high temperatures around 350 million years ago. Depending on the degree of metamorphosis, amphibolites were also formed, which mostly occur in conjunction with gneiss. The Tethys was an ancient ocean that played a key role in the development of the sedimentary and alluvial deposits in the Danube and influenced the geological development of the region.
The soils of the Wachau are predominantly weathered crystalline bedrock, permeable to water and absorb warmth effectively. On the steeper inclines and vineyard slopes, the vines often only find very little nourishment from the soil, so that their roots are forced to delve deeply through the fissures of the rock structure.
The vines grow on the terraces up to 450 metres above sea level, (effectively 250m above the Danube). The foothills and lower slopes are composed of eroded deposits that guarantee deep soils, which store water well and nourish the vines. Vineyards closer to the banks of the Danube are a composition of alluvial soils of predominately sand and gravel, providing ideal conditions for delicate and fine fruit-driven wines.
Journey into the distinctive soil layers
Discover the soil structures of our prized vineyards
(click here for images)