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Wine in Vienna - as unique as the cosmopolitan city itself

Did you know? Vienna is the only capital in the world that grows and cultivates wine directly within the city limits. In this blog article we will tell you what Viennese wine is all about, which grape varieties are popular and where Viennese wine can be tasted.

Wine in Vienna back then: healthier than water

Viennese wine has been cultivated for thousands of years on an area of almost 700 hectares. Viticulture has an old tradition in Vienna. The roots of viticulture in Vienna go back to the Romans, who populated the city 2000 years ago.

Fun Fact: In the Middle Ages, it was safer to drink wine than water for hygienic reasons.

The Viennese vineyards can only be proven from the 12th century. At the time of the Middle Ages, the center of Vienna was still completely surrounded by vineyards. Only in the course of increasing urbanization were numerous cultivated areas cleared. In 1784, Emperor Joseph II allowed winegrowers to sell their own produce together with Viennese wine. This created the basis for today's Viennese “Heurigen” culture and the preservation of the remaining vineyards was secured.

Wine in Vienna today: living tradition

It belongs to Vienna like the word “Leiwand”: the wine of Vienna. Since the 20th century it has enjoyed great national and international popularity, which is also clearly reflected in mentions in wine guides.

Wine is grown on around 640 hectares in Vienna. On the one hand, the growing areas serve to preserve the green belt and, on the other hand, they are the basis for high wine quality. The green belt around Vienna is therefore both a pleasure and relaxation area! On one of the hiking trails through the vineyards you can see the city from a new perspective and experience Vienna in a different way.

Weingarten Wien
© @GT1976, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wine in Vienna: Fun Facts

What is the most popular type of wine in Vienna? This is the Grüner Veltliner! The fact that wine in Vienna mostly means white wine is also reflected in the cultivation figures:

Around 80 percent of the areas are planted with white wine varieties and 20 percent with red wine varieties. In 2020, 25,252 hl of wine were harvested in Vienna, of which around 21,000 hl were white wine. Only a seventh of the wine in Vienna is red wine, and the trend is rising. During a wine tasting in Vienna you will notice what sets wine in Vienna apart: the freshness and liveliness! Our tip: Enjoy the product directly from the source! The Viennese Heurigen in Döbling, Floridsdorf and Liesing offer products from their own production - in a relaxed, informal atmosphere.

wine yards vienna

The most Viennese wine: The Mixed Set

A special specialty of Viennese winegrowing is the “Mixed Set”. In contrast to the cuveé, this is a mixture of different grape varieties that are individually put together by the winemaker and that grow in the same vineyard and are harvested at the same time. The mixture is what makes it a truly world-class wine from Vienna!

In 2013, Vienna's specialty, the Vienna Mixed Set, was included in the Austrian DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus, i.e. quality wines typical of origin) family and has since become even more the epitome of wine in Vienna. The term “Vienna Mixed Set” is now regulated by law and may only be used for wine from Vienna that comes from at least three grape varieties from a vineyard in Vienna.

wine tasting Vienna

Order wine in Vienna like the locals

If you sit at the Heuriger, you'll be happy to hear Einen Spritzer bitte when you order. A “spritzer” is the counterpart to the German “wine spritzer”. The mixing ratio of water and wine is 1:1. For “Summer Spritzer” it can easily be 3 parts water to 1 part wine. Soda water is best suited as mixed water because, in contrast to mineral water, it has little taste of its own. There are now lots of varieties of Spritzer – from violet to cucumber Spritzer. You can try out the different variants at a wine tasting in Vienna!

This is where the wine in Vienna tastes best

Traditionally, Viennese wine is enjoyed at the Viennese “Heurigen”. In Austria, “Heuriger” refers to the locality where wine is served. The word "Heuriger" is colloquially derived from "Heuer" i.e. "this year". At the classic Heurigen there is Viennese wine from this year including cold dishes.

Hidden and rather unknown wine taverns

There are more than enough wine taverns in Vienna, but only a few know the real insider. Those who like to be off the tourist track will enjoy the Heurigen “Karl Lentner” and “Fuchs Steinklammer”.

The Karl Lentner winery is located at the foot of the Bisamberg in the 21st district of Vienna. This wine-growing region offers a wonderful panoramic view of Vienna. In the Heurigen restaurant you can convince yourself that you are enjoying excellent Viennese wines and an extensive buffet in the beautiful garden or in the cozy dining room.

The Viennese Wein-Heuriger Fuchs Steinklammer is located in the 23rd district and convinces with a real, genuine Viennese Heurigen atmosphere. Since 1697, the Fuchs-Steinringe family has stood for traditional Viennese viticulture. 12 white wine and 21 red wine varieties are cultivated. You can taste original Viennese dishes, freshly prepared dishes based on traditional recipes and excellent Viennese top wines.

Our tip: Viennese wine can also be tasted in the center of Vienna. Enjoy 3 traditional Viennese wines and regional delicacies at our Viennese wine tasting in the Roman cellar. This entertaining tour is perfect to get to know the wine from Vienna for the first time.

wine tasting Vienna

If one wine cellar is not enough for you, we recommend our Hidden Wine Cellar Tour. Here you get exclusive access to three hidden wine cellars in the middle of Vienna's city center. Feast your way through the Viennese underworld. This experience is the ideal start to your perfect evening in Vienna.