Austrian co-op the Freie Weingärtner Wachau has changed its name to Domäne Wachau – because of increasing exports.

Roman Horwath, general manager of the newly-named Domäne Wachau, said the change was needed to make its message clearer, especially in light of increasing exports.

Wachau is one of Austria´s – and Europe´s – most successful quality wine co-operatives. Domäne Wachau has been the name of the co-operative´s premium line of wines since 2001.

‘We think it is best to have a clearer communication strategy,’ Horwath said. ‘Our premium Domäne Wachau line is already well-known in many countries, and now with our export markets growing, it makes sense to eliminate the long German name ´Freie Weingärtner Wachau´ from the bottle label.

‘Now there is just one clear identity for the winery and the brand. Domäne Wachau is easy to communicate and easy to remember.’

Domäne Wachau comprises 600 member winegrowers making use of 420ha of vineyards in Austria´s renowned Wachau region.

Many of the grapes are grown on steep terraces and in acclaimed single vineyards such as Loibenberg, Achleiten and Singerriedel.

With an annual production of around 2.5m bottles – of mainly dry white wines dominated by Grüner Veltliner and Riesling – the co-operative is one of Austria´s largest producers.

Thirty per cent of production is exported.

The co-operative was founded in 1938 as the Winzergenossenschaft (Wine Growers Cooperative) Wachau. Its name was changed to Freie Weingärtner (Free Vintners) Wachau in 1990 as its strong development in quality wine began attracting international attention and awards.

Written by Darrel Joseph in Vienna