Leuthold I. Kuenring / Duernstein "Supreme Schenkenberger in Austria" (1260-1312) called the centerpiece of its possessions "Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus". This was nearly similar to today's legally demarcated wine territory "Wachau" and the Association "Vinea Wachau". The members declare binding of the Wachau wine culture and to serve only wine from the Wachau to lead. To the uniqueness of the wines from the Wachau the associations classified them into three categories:
Steinfeder is the name of the light, fragrant wine of the Wachau wine region. The Steinfeder (Stipa pinnata) the featherweight grass in the steep vineyards of the valley, gave this wine its name. The grapes must have a mustweight of at least 15 KMW. The musts are always classically dry fermented. The alcohol content of these wines is a maximum of 11.0 vol%, so it is low.

The Wachau is the wine region, in which it is possible to produce wines with such a low content of alcohol because of natural climate and soil conditions. Nevertheless in their charm and nuances of their wealth they meet the highest possible standard.
Federspiel are called wines with a range from 17 mustweight KMW and alcohol from 11.5 to 12.5 % Vol. These wines are all classically dry fermented. They represent the central part of the Wachau wines , and are distinguished by their fruity and charming character and its powerful delicacy . The name Federspiel leads to the old custom of bringing back the Pickling Bird. Federspiel wines are close to the Steinfeder-category.
Smaragd is the firstly used name for wines of the vintage 1986. This name is used for the best and most valuable wines of the Wachau. These wines have at least a mustweight of 18.2 KMW. They grow only in the sunniest vineyards . Smaragd Lizards feel in the Wachau vineyard terraces particularly well. On fine days they bask beside the vines. So it became a symbol of the Wachau wine with perfect Physiological maturity . This especially precious wines with an alcohol content from 12.5 vol% until the natural end of fermentation are always dry. The bottles are closed with long corks (at least 49 mm).

Even after 25 and more years of correct storage, these wines joy. Wines with the name of Smaragd must only be sold from 1st May of the harvest following year.