The Kamp is one of the wildest and most picturesque rivers in the east of Austria. It has its source high up in the western part of the Waldviertel and runs below Langenlois through the lightly undulating plain of the Tullnerfeld. Not far from Grafenwörth, the Kamp flows into the Krems River and with it ultimately into the Danube. And while the upper Kamptal is known for its dark forests and craggy rock formations, a region beloved of hikers and bicyclists, the lower course of the river has made its name as a wine region.
There are a total of 3,800 hectares under vines here, in which grapes for some of the finest white wines in Austria are grown – many internationally renowned estates have made the region’s name into a watchword for winelovers all over the world. Its foremost municipality Langenlois is Austria’s largest wine town, and with 3,800 hectares of vineyard and a number of famous top growers, the Kamptal is one of the most successful winegrowing regions in all of Austria.
The great importance of wine also characterises the culture of the region as well as local tourist activities. Numerous Heurigen attract visitors, above all on weekends; the inns and restaurants also offer an opportunity to taste a great variety of wines from the Kamptal. And not least, the ‘Loisium’ was founded here as a hot spot for wine tourism: with its daring and futuristic architecture it presents a combination of hotel, visitors’ centre, vinotheque and wine-discovery trail – the latter is orchestrated as a mystical and informative walking tour along centuries-old subterranean pathways.
Wine production in the Kamptal is dominated by the leading varieties Grüner Veltliner and Riesling – in both cases with a very distinctive style that sets the wines clearly apart from the nearby Wachau or the bordering wine regions Kremstal, Wagram and Traisental. The Kamptal’s wines are always mineral-driven, with a firm and robust structure, showing a concentrated spiciness in the aromas and rather substantial body on the palate. These wines distinguish themselves by a remarkably long lifespan – thirty year-old Veltliners showing freshness and verve are not at all rare. In addition to the two top grape varieties, many growers are also producing very convincing and expressive wines from the Pinot family – Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.