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Pfeffel Weingut
Terry Sullivan

Pfeffel WeingutSummary: The Pfeffel Gartenhotel and Pfeffel Weingut are located among the hillside terraces of Dürnstein. Guests of the hotel can taste wines produced by Pfeffel Weingut (Winery). We stayed at the very comfortable hotel and tasted several Pfeffel Weingut wines.

After arriving at the Pfeffel Gartenhotel, we checked in and organized a wine tasting with France Hofstaetter scheduled for after dinner. We proceeded to our spacious and comfortable room. After dinner we met France. He is a sommelier and conducts the wine tastings. He mentioned the family connections of Pfeffel.

Leopold Pfeffel (France's father-in-law) started crafting wine in the mid-1970s. Leopold's wife, Stephanie, loved wine and this gave impetus to start crafting the wines. Today, Leopold’s daughter Karoline owns the hotel. Her husband is France Hofstaetter. The winemaker is Christian Schachenhofer.

Pfeffel WeingutVineyard

About 1.5 hectares (about 3.7 acres) of vineyards are adjacent to the hotel. Leopold planted each vine by hand on the hillside terraces. Grape varieties planted include Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Gelber Muskateller, Muskat Ottonell, Neuburger and Zweigelt. Because of the steep slopes, all work done on the vineyard terraces is done by hand. One of the goals of the winery is for the vineyard to obtain organic certification.

The next morning we took an early morning stroll among the terraces. It was easy to observe up close the vineyard terraces. The tall cliffs over the vineyards and hotel seem daunting. The pruned grapevines were just beginning to wake from their winter slumber. The Grüner Veltliner vines were weeping, a sign of water movement in the vine from the roots to the pruned vines. There are vineyard signs that give information, in German, about the individual varietal grapes.

Pfeffel WeingutWine Tasting

Our wine tasting was in a room opposite the restaurant. The room had several white tablecloth covered tables. Sections of the room's stone walls have displays of Pfeffel wines. We noticed on the bottles as well as on lamp posts outside the hotel, the image of a lizard. We discovered that the lizard is called the Emerald Lizard, Lacerta viridis and lives in the vineyards.

Pfeffel WeingutDuring our wine tasting, we asked France about his wine journey. France’s wine journey began in the restaurant industry. One day there were two wine enthusiasts who were looking at the wine menu. They told France to bring them a wine blind and they would tell him which wine it was. France thought that they would never guess the wine correctly. He brought them glasses of the wine and they correctly identified the wine. France thought this was great. He decided to study wine and became a sommelier. Along the way he decided that he needed to start making wine, from vineyard to bottle.


Pfeffel WeingutThe 2018 Grüner Veltliner Federspiel had a yellow color with 12% alcohol. Flowers and yellow stone fruit were on the aroma. The taste included roses and peaches. The finish was crisp. Floral and fruit notes yielded to mineral.

The 2018 Grüner Veltliner Steinfeder was a yellow color with 10% alcohol. The light aroma had yellow stone fruit, while the taste had a velvety mouthfeel and offered peaches. The finish was crisp and fruity. This is a good afternoon wine especially when sitting on a rocking chair on a porch. The 2018 Riesling had a light yellow color and 10% alcohol. The wine had a light yellow stone fruit aroma and peaches on the taste. The finish was crisp and fruity.

The 2017 Riesling Auslese was a yellow color with 14.5% alcohol. The aroma reminded me of flowers and yellow stone fruit. The taste had a silky mouthfeel and included peaches, roses and mineral. The finish was fruity.

The 2015 Riesling Outsabfüllung had 13% alcohol and a yellow color. Peaches were noted on the aroma and taste. The wine had a velvety mouthfeel. The finish was crisp.

While visiting wineries in the Wachau, consider spending time at the Pfeffel hotel, taste the wines and amble through the vineyard.


Pfeffel Weingut
Zur Himmelsstiege 122
WACHAU / Österreich



Article written April 2019.


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