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Austrian Wine

The reputation of Austrian wines has been on a steep upward curve since the new millennium which doesn't look like levelling-off any time soon. Wines from Austria have been discovered by consumers not only in the rest of Europe but also as far away as the USA due mainly to the well-defined spicy fruit of the food-friendly wines made from Austria's signature grape variety Grüner Veltliner.

autumn vineyard scene in wachau, lower austriaThe majority of fine wines are made in the east and south east of the country with the vineyards comprising extremely varied terrains and soil types. Its geology provides sand, clay, slate, loam, gneiss and loess whilst the topography encompasses bone dry as well as very fertile flatland areas, land adjacent to the Neusiedler See in the Burgenland and precipitous slopes overlooking the Danube. Austria's climate is continental in type and offers hot, dry summers and extremely cold winters. Overall yields in the vineyards are low which enhances the quality of the wine grapes. More than two thirds of the harvest produces white wines and in addition to the previously mentioned Grüner Veltliner Austria also makes fine Riesling most of which is dry but there are also some fine sweet wines made. Sauvignon Blanc is also grown especially in Steiermark (Styria) in the south of the country along with some Chardonnay. Good quality Austrian red wine is produced from its own Zweigelt variety although most of the plantings are of Blauer Portugieser which makes acceptable but less distinguished wine.

In 2013 new official quality wine regions became enshrined in law along the lines of France's AOC system. Eight D.A.Cs. (Districtus Austriae Controllatus) were established, four in each of Burgenland and Niederösterreich (Lower Austria). This new system of classification is still very much in its infancy, however, with growers in some sub-regions opting not to join. Much of the very finest wine is made in the Wagram sub-region and the Traisental D.A.C. in Niederösterreich (Lower Austria) north east of Vienna with Grüner Veltliner predominant although some good reds are also produced from Roter Veltliner grapes. Vienna itself has almost half as many hectares of vineyards encroaching on its suburbs as are planted in the whole of the UK! Traditionally the more rustic wines from here have found a ready market right on their doorstep but increasingly quality production is being striven for with a blend of local grapes (Gemischter Satz) proving to be worthy of more serious attention.

  1. Bernhard Ott, Am Berg Grüner Veltliner, 2012

    Bernhard Ott, Am Berg Grüner Veltliner, 2012

    This wine is made in a very clean and pure style using stainless steel tanks with no lees stirring. The fruit flavours are of green apple, peach and citrus with some spice including lemon-grass notes.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Gruner Veltliner
    Country Austria

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  2. Bernhard Ott, Am Berg Grüner Veltliner, 2014

    Bernhard Ott, Am Berg Grüner Veltliner, 2014

    The latest vintage of Bernhard Ott's Am Berg Grüner Veltliner. This is a delicious crisp, dry, food friendly white wine produced in Wagram, a wine producing sub-region in Niederösterreich (Lower Austria). Bio-dynamic viticulture certified by Austrian certification authority Respekt.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Gruner Veltliner
    Country Austria

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  3. Bernhard Ott, Am Berg Grüner Veltliner, 2013

    Bernhard Ott, Am Berg Grüner Veltliner, 2013

    This wine is made in a very clean and pure style using stainless steel tanks with no lees stirring. The fruit flavours are of green apple, peach and citrus and have some spiciness including notes of lemon grass.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Gruner Veltliner
    Country Austria

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