Wachau Valley, Austria

Weingut Machherndl, an 18-acre estate established in 1786, is run by 8th generation owner, Erich Machherndl, who believes in honest viticulture without compromises. His philosophy is simple: Keep focused on tradition, believe in the vines—especially the 100-year-old vines—and do not become distracted by the status symbols of modern viticulture. He has been called stubborn, but his first goal is to produce exquisite wines that can be enjoyed and admired for many years. His personal commitment to his philosophy is carefully supported by modern cellar management. Located in the Wachau Region of Austria, the wines are from 100% estate grown grapes, produced and bottled wines from single-vineyard sites.


In Austria’s Wachau Valley, falconers use the wings of doves—called Federspeil—to attract falcons. Federspeil wines, named for this tradition, must be at least 20 degrees Brix with an alcohol level between 11.5% and 12.5%.

Smaragd is the German word for emeralds. In the Wachau Valley, Smaragd is the common term for a bright green species of lizards that can often be found on grape vines, gleaming like emeralds in the sun. Smaragd wines must have a minimum natural harvest content of 21.4 degrees Brix and 12.5 percent alcohol.

Region: Wachau Valley, Austria

Year Founded: 1786

Proprietors: Erich Machherndl Jr.

Winemaker: Erich Machherndl Jr.

Size of property: 8.0 (19.75 acres)

Amount of Property Planted: 8.0 ha (19.75 acres)

Terroir: The Pannonian climate zone extends from the east into the Wachau. Cool wet air masses, rich in oxygen, flow down from the Dunkelsteiner forest in the south to the Waldviertel in the north. This continuous circulation of air, combined with unique soil types, strongly influences the aromas forming in the grapes. The mountain terraces are mostly weathered rock (gneiss, silicate and rock brown earth) while the valleys below are covered partly with islands of loess that evolve into light, sandy soils. Terraces are around 450 meters (1,475 feet) above sea level and 250 meters (820 feet) above the Danube river.

Annual Production: 3333 cases

Varieties Cultivated: White: Gruner Veltliner, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Muskateller. Red: Zweigelt, Syrah

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