In 2005 Austria had 51,213 hectares of vineyard, almost all of it in the east of the country. Of these 31,425 ha are in the state of Niederösterreich (Lower Austria) and 15,386 ha in Burgenland which together make up Weinland Österreich. Steierland (Styria) accounts for 3,749 ha, Wien (Vienna) 621 ha and there are 32 ha in "the Austrian Mountains" (Bergland Österreich), which covers the rest of the country. The four main wine regions are split into 16 districts.
This narrow valley of the Danube around Melk is reminiscent of the great wine areas of the Rhine, with steep terraces that produce world-class Grüner Veltliner and Riesling wines. Climatically and geologically it marks the transition from the Alps to the Hungarian plains, leading to a diverse array of microclimates and terroir, with the river moderating the effects of the cold Alpine winds. As mentioned above, the Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus still clings to its own classification of Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd, reserved for wines that are made 100% from Wachau grapes.