The Nikolaihof Wachau is a very special place that invigorates the people who live and spend time here. With almost 2,000 years of history, the estate is the oldest winery in Austria, and one of the first in the world to have begun operating by biodynamic principles. The estate has been owned by the Saahs family since 1894.
The Saahs family runs the Nikolaihof Wachau in accordance with the regulations of the Demeter Association, the strictes control system in biodynamic farming. The principle: Imbue the wine with as much strength and energy as possible, whilst leaving nature to its own devices as far as possible. No herbicides, fertilisers, pestizides or sythetic sprays are used in the vineyards. Instead, the Saahs family uses stinging nettle manure, valerian drops, horse tail tea and its own specially produced Demeter-preparations. The entire estate is run according to biodynamic Demeter rules and undergoes regular state inspections.
Vineyards like beautiful gardens.
The vineyards of Nikolaihof are situated in a remarkably privileged region: Wachau, one of the most beautiful river landscapes in Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and place of origin of some of the best white wines in the world. Its climate and geological conditions are ideal for white wine, and it is precisely here where the Saahs family vineyards lie - with melodic-sounding names such as "Im Weingebirge, "Vom Stein", "Steiner Hund" and "Klausberg". The mild breezes of the Danube region are ideal for the growth of Riesling and Veltliner. Also Gelber Muskateller, Neuburger and Gewürztraminer reach their optimum qualities. Nikolaus Saahs is with his vines every day to uphold a close relationship between man and nature. He observes, checks, tastes, and lets the grapes develop until the time is ripe for harvesting and they are ready to enter the historic cellar of Nikolaihof.
Developing character in the wine cellar.
Letting nature take its course, interfering as little as possible, and giving the wines plenty of time to develop - that's the wine-growing philosophy of Nikolaus Saahs. It's something you can certainly taste in his wines, which are focused, full of flavour and youthful longevity, complex with a modest alcohol content, and reflect the terroir perfectly.
After undergoing careful and mild pressing processes, Nikolaihof wines are fermented with natural yeasts, thus developing their excellent character. Lastly, they find their way into the estate's historic wine cellar, which was built in a Roman crypt. Here, Nikolaus Saahs gives his wines exactly the time they need to mature. The light "Federspiel" wines come from the precious year's vintage, whilst "Smaragd" wines are aged longer in the cellar. Some wines stay here for up to 20 years in some of the 2,000 to 12,000 litre oak barrels.
The results are Demeter-certified wines of the highest quality, which taste wonderful and travel right around the world: Around 70 per cent of the wines are supplied to over 35 countries and are much enjoyed in the USA, Japan, Italy, Australia and many other places. In addition to award-winning wines, other delicacies are produced such as Marillenröster (stewed apricots), mustard fruits, schnapps, liqueurs, juices and the biodynamic Demeter-certified skincare dieNikolai.