The Wachau region is located in the Danube Valley, west of Vienna. It is one of the oldest and most unique wine regions of Europe. Stone terraces, rising up from the Danube into the region’s ancient, fortified hills, typify the landscape. The narrow Wachau Valley is the westernmost – and therefore the highest and coolest – wine region of Austria. By tradition, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling vines are cultivated on the same soils across the vineyards. The Benedictine monastery at Melk is the gateway to the Wachau region to the west. To the east, the 1000-year-old town of Krems marks the limit of the region.
Rainer Wess founded his own winery in 2003 after many years of diverse experience in the wine trade in both his native Austria and internationally. Rainer’s goal was to produce Grüner Veltliner and Riesling wines that would not only be among the best of the region, but also express his very personal style and philosophy. He aims to produce the purest, freshest and most elegant wines possible, with clear expressions of the varietal and site, and the wines are vegan.
For his Grüner Veltliner, Rainer Wess uses fruit from two areas: the 5 hectare vineyard next to his winery in Krems and from several lower-slope sites in the Wachau towns of Unterloiben and Dürnstein. The warmer soils of these vineyards, composed of loam and silt (aka loess), gives a round, bright and juicy style of Grüner that is the perfect introduction to the Wess style. It is aged in tank and bottled and released in January. It has generous “cool” and fresh fruit in its bouquet and expressive citrus, stone fruits and minerals on the palate.
The noteworthy Jean-Georges restaurant group is a fan of Rainer's Gruner, pouring it by-the-glass in several locations.