Home of Vienna, Austria’s vineyards are just as beautiful.
Traditionally Austria was famous for its sweet wines, which some have even been compared in quality to Hungarian Tokaji. But now Austria is producing some top class dry wines, mainly whites but also developing their reds. A lot of money has been invested for this, in modern equipment and techniques e.g. stainless steel, new oak barriques (small barrels) etc.
The Austrian wine industry has changed so much in the last thirty years. Having moved on from their tarnished reputation of the 80′s, forward thinking winemakers are now producing superb Rieslings and Grüner Veltliner wines (nicknamed GruVe or groovy!).
GruVe is a fabulous regional grape variety which must be tasted! Peppery, mineral notes, fresh and crisp and it ages beautifully.
Austria only produces a very small percentage of the world’s wine. But, as the wine is produced by mainly boutique wineries, the quality is superb, if a little expensive! Sadly, only a small percentage is exported as the wine is consumed by the strong, wealthy domestic market.
Austrian wines are classified in a very similar way to German wines, with the addition of Ausbruch and sweet Strohwein. But please note they are very, very different to German wines!
Warmer summers allow the grapes to ripen and sugars to fully develop (this is what fermentation converts to alcohol), so these wines do not have a low alcohol content like a lot of German wines.
Austria is divided up into four main regions, with smaller sub-regions that are more specifically recognised as wine regions:
- Niederösterreich (Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal)
- Vienna and Thermenregion
- Spicy, juicy and cherry fruit packed reds
- Un-oaked, peppery, fresh and crisp whites to full-bodied, intense, peachy whites
- Complex, honeyed sweet wines
- Grüner Veltliner
- Blaufrӓnkisch (local red variety)
- Zweiget (local red variety)
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
(Note that there are many small producers in Austria so I have recommended areas instead to help explore what this country has to offer)
- Riesling wines from Wachau and Kremstal (especially Riesling from Achleiten)
- Grüner Veltliner wines from Wachau and Kremstal
- Sauvignon Blanc from Steiermark
- Chardonnay from Steiermark
- Trockenbeerenauslese from Burgenland