Climate of contrasts
Although the Kremstal is located quite north for a wine-growing region, it has very good climatic conditions for viticulture. As in the surrounding areas, the hot, Pannonian climate coming from the east meets the cooler, continentally influenced climate of the higher forest district. During the day the region warms up quickly, in the evening the fragrant but cool forest air flows in again from the northern valleys and ditches, which can lead to temperature differences of up to 25 ° C. The change from hot days and – especially during the autumn ripening period – cooler nights plays an essential role in the development of aromas.
The Danube River is of considerable climatic importance, on the one hand it plays the role of a thermostat, on the other hand it also acts against frost because the flow movement causes a constant air circulation.
The soil: hard in the west …
In the two geological landmarks that dominate the Kremstal, the primary rock can be found mainly in the west of the region, which is still at the very edge of the Bohemian Massif. Primeval rock soils (more precisely: primary rock weathered soils) are found in the locations on the border with the Wachau and then stretch up the actual Kremstal to Senftenberg. Typical of these soils are the steep terraced areas, bordered by stone walls, in which steely, finely spicy, mineral white wines – especially Rieslings – grow with elegant depth of fruit and a firm structure.
… and soft in the east
The second important formation in the Kremstal is the loess. A curious rock: on the one hand so soft that you can grind chunks to dust with your bare hand. On the other hand, so stable that you can not only dig deep cellars into it, but also create steep walls and terraces many meters high. The vines benefit from its heat and water storage capacity as well as its mineral wealth. Towards the end of the Ice Ages, the loess was blown by the wind, which carried the dust from rapidly dried up mud regions into the Kremstal and piled up layers up to 25 m high. The purest loess soils can be found in the east of Krems, from the Ried Wachtberg on the Kreuzberg to the sand pit to the Rohrendorfer Gebling and beyond.
The diversity in the south and everywhere
However, the geology of the Kremstal cannot be divided quite so clearly. First, because there are natural transitions between primary rock and loess, such as on Kreuzberg. Secondly, because some sections and layers of the Kremstal are characterized by a veritable blend of loess and primary rock. Such conglomerate soils can be found both on the southern bank of the Danube, but also on the northern bank, for example on Gedersdorfer Wieland or on the Kremser Gebling. And third, because besides loess and primary rock there are other soils. In the vicinity of river banks, the loess layers are sometimes covered by gravel deposits, for example in some locations on the right bank of the Danube around Palt and Oberfucha, but interestingly also in the middle of the transition from the – more or less heavy loess and clay soils – Stratzing plateau and Gneixendorf to the Kremstal, i.e. in small locations such as Kiesling or Sunogeln.