Austrian Wine Guide


Austria is a proud producer of high-quality white wines. The Austrian wine industry is leading the innovations in modern European wine, allowing the country to be a future key player in the international trade.

The mountainous country in Central Europa has a warmer climate than its neighbour Germany so Austria can grow more red varieties. Austria is in the crossroads between two powerful influences, the Alps coming from the west and the Pannonian Plain in the east. The continental climate is tempered by the Danube River and its tributaries, particularly in Lower Austria state (called Niederösterreich).

History of the wines in Austria

Viticulture in Austria may be older than the Roman period with vines planted by the Celts. During the Middle Age, the wine sector was organized by the monks with planting on steep terraces along the Danube in Wachau and Kamptal. The Austro-Hungarian Empire left a important legacy in the wine sector with the first viticulture school in the country. After World War I, the country survival was held only by the tourism sector which was strongly linked with the wine sector.

In the 1950's, a small group of producers in Wachau wanted to undertake an important change with the use of modern technologies to produce high-quality wines. But the big scandal of 1985 – an anti-freeze ingredient was found to be added to increase the sweetness and body of the wines – led to the collapse of the wine industry and its reputation but the industry was able to undertake deep reforms good for it in the long run. Nowadays the arrival of foreigners in the viticultural sector lead to a significant rise in quality.

The Austrian’s wine legislation is deeply influenced by Germany. The IGP wines are referred as Landwein but they are quite rare on the market. The AOP wines have two terms Qualitätswein and Prädikatswein. Austria set up a DAC appellation system to follow the European wine legislation.

Wine Regions of Austria

The most important wine-growing regions are along the Danube River in Lower Austria. This state include the famous regions of Wachau, Kamptal and Kremstal. The other Austrian wine regions are Vienna and southern states of Burgenland and Styria.

Grape varieties of Austria

Grüner Veltliner is the national grape variety. The white wine has vegetal flavors with peppers and grapefruit notes. With age, it reveals subtle honeyed and toasty aromas. Grüner Veltliner has a strong mineral character. The finest wines come from Wachau and Kamptal.

Riesling produces the great white wines of the vineyards along the banks of the Danube River. The crisp refreshing wines have ripe stone fruits aromas. The ageing wines release rich steely notes.

The white variety Welschriesling produce good aromatic wines with citrus fruit. It is particularly grown in the south.

The most common red grapes are Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and Saint-Laurent.

Our wines from Austria