Austria is best known for its elegant white wines made from indigenous grape varieties from the best Austrian wine regions. Wine has been made here for thousands of years, with the first written records of viticulture dating back to the Roman period. Today Austria is considered one of Europe's best kept wine secrets thanks to an abundance of artisanal producers and a strong emphasis on quality winemaking.
Key Austrian Wine Regions
The Austrian wine map consists of its three main winemaking regions: Nieder√∂sterreich (Lower Austria), Burgenland, and Steiermark. Nieder√∂sterreich in the north-east has the greatest area under vine and is especially known for its elegant whites and cool climate reds. Burgenland is located in eastern Austria and has a reputation for red wines made from Blaufrankisch, St Laurent and Pinot Noir. Steiermark is Austria's southernmost wine region with a warmer and drier climate.
Austrian Grape Varieties
Austria's most important grape and best Austrian wine is Gruner Veltliner which accounts for around a third of the country's vineyards. It tends to produce spicy and peppery white wines with stone fruit notes. The second most important Austrian white variety is Riesling which is used to produce Austria's Auslese and Beerenauslese sweet late harvest wines as well as dry white wines. Around 30% of Austria's wine production is red wines which are commonly made from the peppery Zweigelt, spicy Blaufrankisch varieties.