Austrian wine, Europe’s best-kept secret?

September 30, 2014



As a country, Austria does a lot of things well. If you were looking for a skiing holiday or if you wanted to visit fairytale castles set in beautiful countryside, then the country would be at the top of your list, however it is far from the first destination that comes to mind when you think about wine. Cast your prejudices aside and come discover why wine-tasting holidays in Austria are set to become a popular European tourist destination.

Austrian wines

Most Austrian wines are dry white wines made from the Gruner Veltliner grape, although there are red wines produced too, specifically from Lemberger and Pinot Noir grapes. Following the anti-freeze scandal of 1985, the Austrian government clamped down on the rules and regulations of bulk wine production, and now these rigorous standards mean that Austria is once again a producer of high quality wines.

Austria has approximately 52,200 hectares of vineyard, which is mostly in the east of the country. Of this, over 30,000 are in the state of Niederösterreich, the biggest wine region in Austria.

Wachau Valley

The Wachau Valley is a beautiful area of lower Austria, and one of the region’s biggest tourist attractions. The landscape, formed by the River Danube, is picturesque and pretty and the architecture of the buildings in the region is classically Austrian. Most of the Wachau vineyards are set in steep valleys on the banks of the Danube, offering stunning views of the region.


Vienna is the only capital city in the world which still produces significant amount of wine within its city limits. There are approximately 700 hectares of land dedicated to producing wine in the region, which means that Austrian wine is readily available in all of the shops and bars in the city centre. Viennese wine is traditionally dry and white, although fruitier varieties are also grown here and are traditionally more expensive. Visit the Wien Cobenzl winery, which offers a tour including stop-offs at wine taverns on the way, and stunning panoramic views of the Donau-Auen National Park.


Austria’s southern state of Styria, just on the border with Slovenia, is home to a range of wines, most of which use the Sauvignon Blanc grape, which is grown on impossibly steep slopes in the region. Walk the Styria Wine Road and witness the results of an area which has undergone dramatic recent transformation. The 44-mile trail is dotted with arty wineries and inns run by local farmers, so don’t feel that you need to tackle it all in one day! After all, it would be a shame to miss anything out…

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