Austrian Wine culture
Fine wine from Austria
Among connoisseurs, Austrian wine is an extremely well-guarded secret. In recent years, Austrian vintners have achieved remarkable improvements in quality and they by now number among the international elite. What’s special is this: winemaking in Austria is subject to strict environmental and geographic limitations, and in contrast to the situation in other wine-producing countries, the vineyards here are extremely small. But precisely this entails extremely high quality. In Austria, there are very few wine estates capable of dedicating themselves to mass production—many top winemakers have only a few hectares of land on which to grow their grapes. Thus, it is not uncommon for a top vintner to bring to market only 2,000 bottles of a particular wine annually. This is joined by the fact that many Austrian vineyards can only be worked manually; this is particularly characteristic of Lower Austria, where vineyards are laid out on terraces, many of which were constructed several centuries ago.
A special winegrowing area is represented by the vineyards lying within the Vienna city limits. The sun-soaked slopes of the gentle alpine foothills surrounding the city currently play host to over 320 vintners dedicated to producing quality wines. Vienna produces primarily white wines such as Grüner Veltliner, Rheinriesling, Gemischter Satz, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. However, red wines such as Blauer Zweigelt also grow well in the vineyards of quality-conscious winemakers, and these serve to further the international reputation of Viennese wines under the banner of the “Vienna Classic” marketing association.