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Wine from Vienna: The fact that both words can be interchanged due to a letter mix-up is no coincidence. The Viennese are often described as wine-loving. But the wineries work very forward-looking despite their long history.

Vienna and wine: an inseparable connection. In the Middle Ages, wine was even grown within the city walls, i.e. on the area of today's city centre. Many large storage cellars bear witness to the importance of wine for the city, the only city in the world with over a million inhabitants where viticulture is of significant economic importance.


Even the city's landmark, St. Stephen's Cathedral, was built with wine - and not just in the form of food for the workers. In the 1443 vintage, the wine was so acid thin that it could not be drunk. Emperor Frederick III then decreed that the undrinkable wine, called "Reifbeisser", had to be used to slake the lime and make the mortar for the extension of St. Stephen's Cathedral instead of being poured away.

Today, winegrowing has moved to the outskirts of the city. The focus is on the suburbs in the north, northwest and southwest of the city. North of the Danube - i.e. in Bisamberg, Stammersdorf and Jedlersdorf - mainly white and red Pinot varieties grow on flysch rock to the highest qualities. On the right bank of the Danube, on the hills from Nußdorf to Grinzing, Sievering and Neustift am Walde, calcareous soils and Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc characterise viticulture. In the south of Vienna, brown and black earth soils in Rodaun, Mauer and Oberlaa make powerful wines possible. A total of 134 farms in twelve wine-growing villages currently cultivate 575 ha of vineyards. They often serve their wines in wine taverns and simple inns, the "Buschenschanken". The nice and special thing about it is that almost all of them can be easily reached by the well-developed public transport network.

Unique: Viennese Gemischter Satz

Vienna is not only repeatedly voted the "most liveable city in the world", it also offers wine lovers a speciality that even enjoys legal protection of origin: the Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC. Thereby Gemischter Satz is not an innovation, but the old traditional method of winegrowing that can be found almost everywhere. Several grape varieties are planted in one vineyard and - in contrast to blending or cuvée - harvested and processed together. For the Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC, the rules are even stricter than in the Austrian wine law. Here, at least three white quality grape varieties must be planted together in a Viennese vineyard (the number of grape varieties is open upwards); the largest variety share may not be more than 50 percent, the smallest not less than ten percent. This is to guarantee diversity in wine styles.

Around 220 of the 575 ha in Vienna are planted with Gemischter Satz. The area wines are characterised by different compositions - more neutral or more aromatic grape varieties. With the stronger local wines, the different origins come into play. And the single vineyard wines become more complex and long-lived through longer ageing.

The Hungerberg vineyard in Grinzing is close to the residential areas of the city.


Grape varieties

Gemischter SatzThe grapes must come from a Viennese vineyard planted with at least three white quality grape varieties that are harvested and processed together; the largest share of a grape variety must not exceed 50 percent, the third largest share must be at least ten percent.


  • Area wine: sold from 1 December of the year of harvest; dry, maximum 12.5 % vol. Alcohol
  • Local wine: sold from 1 March of the year following the harvest; dry, minimum 12.5 % vol. Alcohol
  • Vineyard wine: sold from 1 May of the year following the harvest; dry or semi-dry, minimum 12.5 % vol. alcohol. Alcohol

Origins for local wine

Melting pot of cultures

That viticulture in Vienna is far more than just show vineyards or folklore for tourists is shown by a provincial law that stipulates that vineyards must also be cultivated. This is to protect the vineyards, which are often planted in sought-after locations, from real estate speculation.

As culinary companions, Viennese wines - especially the Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC - are open to all sides. They accompany classic Viennese cuisine, whose most famous protagonists are probably the Wiener Schnitzel as well as offal, but also star cuisine and particularly good Far Eastern dishes. Thus, Viennese wines are a Spiegel of the melange that Vienna has always been: a mixture of many cultures that meet here and thus a link between East and West, North and South.

Tourist tips for Vienna fill entire books - there are so many museums, palaces, churches and promenades to discover. For wine fans, discovering the vineyards is probably particularly interesting. There are even four special wine walking routes and a special wine walking day in autumn. Those particularly interested can visit Vienna's most central vineyard at Schwarzenbergplatz, where the mayor does the harvesting every year. Or they can drop by the Liesenpfennig vineyard, which is somewhat hidden in the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace. Heurigen pubs and wine bars cater for every taste. And the connection of many world-famous artists to Viennese wine culture is legendary.

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