Austria's wines are today getting the acclaim they deserve. The Grüner Veltliner grape is winning global recognition and wine lovers are beginning to realise the depth and richness of Austrian reds.
While Austria's grapes have the elegance and fragrance associated with Germany's wines, they also have (according to Hugh Johnson) "the fieriness and high flavour of the Danube". And it's this depth of flavour that makes Austria so worthwhile.
There are sweet wines grown around the shallow Neusiedler Sea; spicy Grüner Veltliners from Burgenland, Wachau and Weinviertel; old-vine Blaufränkisch reds from Mittelburgenland, and fruity Sauvignons, Chardonnays and Pinot Gris from the beautiful Südsteiermark region, to name a few.
The warm winds that blow along the Danube from Hungary, provide welcoming heat for Austria's vineyards. Rainfall can be high, but the schist and limestone mountain soils are suitably free-draining.
Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Welschriesling, Zweigelt, Pinot Noir, Syrah
Felsner, F X Pichler, Jurtschitsch Sonnhof
Kremstal, Vienna, Kamptal, Wachau, Burgenland
- Austria has grown vines since pre-Christianity - even before Roman times
- Until recently, 70% of Austria's production was of white wine.
- Austrian's love to drink new wine, 'Heurige', and in Vienna there are special taverns (Heurigen) devoted to serving 'this year's wine'
- Austria's vineyards are concentrated in its east. They lie on the hills that descend from the Alps to Hungary's Pannonian Plain.