Is this the best co-operative in the world? Here is a question that is posed time and time again by the inimitable Master of Wine, Jancis Robinson. Accounting for 30% of all of the Wachau’s production with its massive 440 ha of vineyards it is hard to believe that such outstanding quality can be produced on this scale. Headed by Austria’s second Master of Wine, Roman Horvath and assisted by winemaker Heinz Frischengruber, Domaine Wachau employs modern viticultural techniques such as canopy management, varietal plantings for specific sites and sustainable farming in a quest to achieve perfectly ripe grapes for their desired styles of wine. Its high-tech winery in Dürnstein is fitted with intelligent sorting tables and stainless steel tanks with temperature controls providing ideal conditions for fermenting the Riesling and Grüner Veltliner harvests, which the vineyards are dedicated to. The flagship vineyard of the winery is Kellerberg whose unique hilltop location lends fine acidity to this single vineyard wine and, in the process, at least a decade of potential ageing. Harvested late to satisfy the Smaragd classification wines from this site have admirable texture, weight and power that were even more pronounced in the warm 2009 vintage. Ageing in large, old oak casks lend a creamy mouthfeel without compromising the wine’s refreshing acidity and pure fruit characteristics.