October 23, 2017

ZahelDuring the Middle Ages, each district of Vienna had its own vineyards. In the 16th century the city’s wine tavern culture sprang to life. The Heurigen (wine taverns) scene was made possible through an imperial edict, which allowed growers to serve food with their wine. This wine culture continues to thrive. Fine wine from Vienna is today counted among the classic wines of the world.

There are 630 producers (that’s one wine producer per 2,500 persons – what a town!) working 1,680 acres of beautiful urban vineyards – many reachable by foot or tram. White grapes dominate these vineyards. Grüner Veltliner such as from the Zahel vinery is common, along with Riesling and Chardonnay. These crisp white wines are the perfect accompaniment to Wiener Schnitzel, potato salad and all manner of wurst. The Vienna Heurigen Express choo-choos wine lovers through vineyards and around town to many of the city’s 180-plus wine taverns. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind cosmopolitan wine experience.

Vienna is the only capitol in the world that has a wine production of considerable size. The grape and the wine was brought to Vienna by the ancient romans more than 2000 years ago and since then it has become a part of Vienna, its culture and its history. Wine today is as much a part of Vienna and Viennese Cuisine as the water that flows through The Danube.  

A winery from where the farmer sells his own wine is called a heurigen, and since the 1800 it has been allowed for the farmers to sell food with the wine, and many offer a solid lunch where you sit with a wineglass in one hand and a nice piece of roast pork in a sandwich and watch the spectacular view of the valley.  

The word Heurigen means from this year, referring to the wine from Vienna often being a very young wine, and it is best young enjoyed before it ages.

Most Heurigens has garden and playgrounds for children, so you can relax and enjoy a glass of wine while the children play and if you have one to many glass of wine, busses and trains are there to take you back to your hotel safe and sound.

If you are looking for good evening out without the children you can also do so, many Heurigens has local musicians come by and sing sentimental songs about how sweet it is to enjoy life and stagger home after a night in the company of heurigen.

There are so many producers of wine in Vienna that the city has an entire industry dedicated to its production of wine. You can go biking in the hills and visit vineries or you can hire a local guide and go visit vineries, have a taste of the vine and enjoy yourself.

You can easily find tour guides, offering different tours to the vineyards and tastings of the local specialties.

More than 700 acres of wine production is located within city limits and 70 percent of the grapes is used for white wine production such as Wine types such as Riesling, Weissburgunder, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon blanc and Gelber Muskatteller. All wines that play a specific role in food and the living in the worlds wine capitol.

More producers are turning to red wine these years, but main production is still on white wine.

When you visit Vienna and is interested in wine, you have to visit Wachau valley. It offers you a possible tour of a valley that is on the Unesco heritage site and has a plethora of vineyards all offering wine tasting and guided tours of the vineries. You will taste wine from vineries like Weingut Ernsthofer who produces Gruner Veltliner, Pinot blanc (Weißburgunder), Riesling, all white wines.

brother-995145_1280Some vineries like Weingut Ferdinand Denk has rooms for rent and a fine restaurant where they serve traditional food and it goes without saying they use their own wine as a base for the food they serve.

They also have a small shop where you can buy items from the vinery and perhaps food where their wine has been used to manufacture it.

There are other wineries in the valley that also has local shops like Weingut & Heuriger, Josef und Herta Donabaum and Weingut “Hof in der Laube Gritsch”, just to mention a few.

Others has rooms for rent like Weinbau Bernhard and weingut Johan Donebaum, with prices differ from vinery to vinery.

You will also find areas like Kampthal, Burgenland or Krems that is only an hour away from the city center, where the story of winemaking is the same as in Vienna, it is in their blood after many houndred of years perfecting it.  

Many of the vineyards is family owned and operated and they all offer tours and tastings of their wine, when harvesting the grapes is done in the fall and the big job is done, there will often be a short periode when the wineries is closed for a couple of weeks so the workers can have their holiday and the family relax.

Vienna is also buzzing with wine bars all selling wine from the areas in and around Vienna, they offer many of the local specialties, and they all have a great knowledge of the wine produced locally.  

Many fine wines have come out of Vienna and Austria, but for many the wine fields of Nussberg is the queen , here in the northern part of the city along the banks of the Danube is where you will find not only a breathtaking view but also a two wine specialists on Kahlenberg and Bisamberg, it is throughout the summer green and a place where more than 12 local wineries treat tourists and locals with wine, food and a good time.

The most famous wine that has come out of Vienna is Wiener Gemischter Satz, which translated means a mixed bunch. It referrers to the fact that it is made from different grapes all growing side by side on the hills in Vienna.  They are harvested at the same time and brewed in the same batch. So much unlike almost all other wineries today. You would normally have one type of grape on a hill, brew it alone, harvest it alone. But not in Vienna and it has become so much a household way of doing it.  It has even been given the award of the slowfood movement.

Normally somewhere between 10 and 12 different grapes, all contributing to the taste and subtle nuances of the wine.

This has just been a brief recap on Austrian and Viennese wine, we highly recommend you travel to Vienna, if you are a fan of wine, and want to learn about the special way of producing it used in Vienna. There is a rich history, many wineries and much to taste, take in and enjoy when you come to Vienna in search of wine, food and maybe a song or two.

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