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The Emmerich Knoll wine estate in Unterloiben is one of the most renowned wine estates in Austria. In wine connoisseur circles, the traditional label enjoys a similar cult status to that of the wine itself.

Our buildings in Unterloiben breathes history, as its occupants are straightforward, charming and forthcoming. Cousin Emmerich Knoll and his son Emmerich junior, who shares his father's love of wine production and who spent his work placements all over the world, produce the best wines in the Wachau on their 14 hectares. The SchüttLoibenbergKellerbergKreutles and Pfaffenberg sites produce around 45 % Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. The remaining 10% are split between Chardonnay, Yellow Muscat, Rivaner, Blauer Burgunder and for the last few years, Gelber Traminer.


Emmerich Knoll does not favour succulent, exuberant wines Dense wines which demonstrate strength in a compressed form but do not expand widthways; that is the credo of our top wine-making business. All of our wines are late "starters". The Schütt Riesling has the reputation of a primus inter pares among the Smaragd wines and their series of dessert wines produced in good years is also formidable.

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Emmerich Knoll plans the terrain to best advantage and tinkers with the finer details with the precision of a Swiss clock-maker. The Kellerberg is one of the finest individual locations in the world and because of its specific geological nature produces very special wines. Their minerality and singularity make them wines which consistently distinguish themselves.


Steinfelder​ is the name of the light, aromatic wines produced in the Wachau wine-growing region. The Steinfelder (Stipapinnata) - the feather-light grass of the steep vineyards of the valley landscape gave these cheerful wines their name. Steinfelder wines can be produced from all types of good quality Wachau white wines. The grapes are required to have a must weight of at least 15° KMW. The musts are always classically dry fermented. The alcohol content of these wines is a maximum 11.0 Vol.%, in other words, quite low. The Wachau is a wine-growing area that, due to its natural climate and soil conditions, allows wines to be pressed which have such a low alcohol content but which still fulfil the highest expectations in regard to charm and richness of nuance.


Federspiel - These are Wachau wines which have the Kabinett classification and a must weight of 17° KMW or more and an alcohol content of between 11.5 and 12.5 Vol.%. Without exception, these wines are classically dry-fermented and represent speciality wines which are achievable in this quality only in good locations and vintages. They are distinguished by their charmingly fruity character and their robust delicacy. The name Federspiel recalls the ancient custom of retrieving the hunting bird during falconry – a traditional form of hunting practised by the nobility in the Wachau in former times. Federspiel wines are an extension of the Steinfeder category and can be produced from all types of good quality white wine which are produced in the Wachau. They are pressed according to general legal requirements and are also subject to quality controls of the Vinea Wachau association.


Smaragd - This designation was first applied to wines of the 1986 vintage and now describes the best, most valuable wines from the Wachau. These wines, which have a minimum must weight of 18.2° KMW, ripen only on the sunniest vineyards and even then can be picked only in very good vintage years. Emerald (smaragd) lizards feel especially comfortable amongst the terraced vineyards of the Wachau. On fine days, they bask in the sun next to the grapevines and have become the symbol for Wachau wines with their mature physiological ripeness. These particularly valuable wines, with an alcohol content of 12.5 Vol.% or more can only be produced in the very best years. In keeping with ancient Wachau tradition they are dry-fermented until fermentation ceases naturally. Sweet wines with 9g/Lt or more of residual sugar are excluded. The bottles are sealed with long corks (min. 49 mm), which are stamped with the vintage. Even after 25 years or longer of being correctly stored these wines are still a source of joy. All types of good quality white wines are approved. Wines designated as “Smaragd” can only be sold after the 1st of May of the year following the grape harvest. The “Smaragd” wine category represents an exceptional Wachau speciality, which is therefore subject to appropriately stringent quality controls.

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Inside information

"A vineyard for one thousand five hundred years"

The history of the Wachau is naturally intertwined with much of the history of the vineyard. The name "Wachau" dates back to the description of an estate that belonged to a Bavarian monastery called Niederalteich in the Spitz area and was first mentioned in a Carolingian document from the year 830. At that time, the vineyard was already established in the Danube Valley downstream from Melk: The biography of St Severin, put together by his pupil, Eugippius, in the year 511 recounts that the saint withdrew to a remote hermitage called "In the vineyards". Severin lived around 470 close to the Roman settlement of Castells Favianis, the modern Mautern. 


In 791, Charlemagne made camp with his army in the Wachau on the way to his decisive and successful battle against the Avars. The newly-acquired land east of the Enns became a royal estate. Carolingian settlement of the land could begin. When the Bavarian troops were wiped out by the Hungarians at the Battle of Pressburg in 907, the land below the Enns fell to the Magyars, who ruled it for several decades. The victory of Otto I at the Battle of Lechfeld on St Lawrence's Day 955 saw the advent of a political counter-movement, which became the basis of the area's continuing development: The old possessory titles from the Carolingian period were revived. In 962 Otto I was crowned First Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation. In 976 the first Babenberger was enfeoffed with the Grenzmark (border region) in the east. In 1156 the Grenzmark became the Duchy of Austria. In 1285 Leuthold I von Kuenring became "oberster Schenk in Österreich" (Chief Sommelier in Austria).


The Wachau comes under the influence of various climate zones: Western Atlantic air masses meet warm continental patterns flowing in from the Panonian Plain in the east. Their continental characteristics (hot, dry summers - harsh winters) are moderated by the temperature-regulating effect of the Danube. The large water surface also reflects the sun's rays and encourages the formation of sugar in the grapes by photosynthesis. Microclimatic factors such as cool downslope winds and the aromatic forest air from the north reinforce the swings in temperature between day and night in the weeks prior to harvest (September/October) and promote the formation of aroma. The "cool" fruit and the exotic quality of Wachau wines are the result of this special climatic mix. The annual level of precipitation in the Wachau, which is less than 500 mm, falls mostly in the context of thunderstorms in the summer months and is therefore not easily absorbed by the soil. This makes irrigation a necessity in the dry, mountainous areas.

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8 different wines with 25 vintages


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 Emmerich Knoll  has updated producer and wine information

1m 24d ago

 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Emmerich Knoll . In a tasting of  20 wines 

A great evening. 30 vintages Château Cos d'Estournel. The oldest wine - 1928 was voted the wine of the tasting. A fantastic quality throughout

9m 26d ago

 Rajiv Kehr, Pro (India)  tasted  1 wines  from  Emmerich Knoll . In a tasting of  5 wines 

“FX Pichler Gruner Veltliner Smaragd Loibner Loibenberg 2012 I am still dreaming about this bottle!. It was paired with the Knoll Gruner Veltliner Vinothekfüllung Smaragd Loibner 2013 and served with a schnitzel which thankfully allowed both wines to dominate. It made for an interesting comparison. I was in raptures with both these wines made from botrytis grapes coming from the Wachau region in Niederöisterreich. Loibenberg is one of the steepest sites in Loiben with a rocky soil and southerly exposure all of which contributes for perfect ripening and wines with minerality. The pale colour almost like that of a young sauvignon blanc did not give hints or betray that it was a smaragd with 14% alcohol. An enchanting nose which kept changing and at times gave hints of botrytis at the end and at times floral aromas or even a touch of smoke. Good balance and complexity. Rudolph Nureyev dancing in the glass! 97.5 points ”

1y 4m ago

 Mélanie Laurent / Sommelier, Pro (France)  tasted  6 wines  from  Emmerich Knoll . In a tasting of  45 wines 

“Austrian vintage 2006 - over 40 wines. One of the best was Hirtzenberger Riesling Smaragd Hochrain 2006 / Open, perfumed bouquet with aromas of lemon, citrus, fresh bread and faint vpeach. Soft, clively honeyed texture. The wine is exceptionally rich in flavour. Very concentrated wine with great depth and complexity. The very fine acidity carries the lace-like texture into an astonishing, long finish. Drinking divinely. 95 points”

1y 4m ago

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