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Vienna: The Wine Capital

Did you know that Vienna is the only world capital producing significant quantities of wine within its city limits?

The Imperial city of Vienna is home to about 1,730 acres of vineyards, of which about 85% are dedicated to white wine grape varietals. Grape varietals such as Riesling, Weissburgunder, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc and Gelber Muskatteller produce distinctly fruity and elegant wines. A growing number of Viennese winegrowers are producing red wines, in particular Zweigelt and St. Laurent along with trendy international types such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.

Viennese wine is influenced both by the hot and dry pannonian climate contributing to its maturity and the cool winds from the north giving it fresh and fruity notes. Still rooted in long-standing traditions, wine cultivation in Vienna has undergone modernization in the past decades.

wiener weinwandertag © PID / Christian Fürthner wiener weinwandertag © PID / Christian Fürthner

Things to do....

Visually stunning proof of this modernization are the architecturally sophisticated cellar constructions and Heuriger (wine taverns) built in a new contemporary style. An example of this is Fritz Wieninger’s winery. Fritz restored the cellars of an old monastery combing it with radically modern elements. Also worth seeing is Rainer Christ’s winery and Heuriger. With lots of stone, exposed concrete, glass, and wood a new wine cellar was constructed that meets all the demands of today’s wine production. 
Where there is wine, there is food – and Viennese cuisine is of worldwide fame. The ingredients used for Viennese cuisine are amazingly simple. Take the finest culinary traditions from Bohemia, Austria, Hungary and the Balkans, and blend them to create exceptional delicacies. There are typical Viennese dishes for every budget, and visitors and locals alike can choose from a great selection of eateries. Try a Wuerstelstand - a street-side sausage stand - serving fast and inexpensive snacks, including a great variety of sausages. Then there is the Viennese answer to fast food chains, the “schnitzel outlets”, and finally highly acclaimed gourmet establishments. At the core of classical Viennese cuisine is the “Gasthaus” — the good, cozy inn. 

What to do while in Vienna?

A walk along the Vienna Wine Trail reveals the beauty of the vineyards, with plenty of opportunities for a quick snack and beautiful views of the city. Vienna’s 1,730 acres of vineyards and 320 vintners in the neighbourhoods in and around Kahlenberg, Nussberg, Bisamberg, and Mauer, where the Danube and the proximity of the Vienna Woods provide optimal climatic conditions, are unique among major cities. The Vienna Wine Trail leads from Neustift am Walde to Nussdorf. Along the way you pass Sievering, the Wien Cobenzl winery, and Grinzing, legendary locations in the Viennese wine and Heuriger tavern traditions. For those who prefer a small section as opposed to the full length of the Wine Trail, you can pick up the trail anywhere. After all, a hike on the Wine Trail is not supposed to be too strenuous – sipping outstanding local wines and enjoying the breathtaking views are what it’s all about.

The title of the Wine Trail’s best scenic view is hotly contested. The approximately 6 mile long trail is dotted with scenic outlooks over the city and the Danube river. Three lookout points are particular noteworthy: Bellevuestrasse, Muckenthal near the four chestnut trees, and Eichelhofstrasse, the last of which offers a panoramic view all the way to the Donau-Auen National Park. 
The Heuriger "wine tavern" is an important Viennese institution. Vintners serve their own wines and home cooked fare in their own wine taverns.  The Heuriger combines the conviviality of the city with the rural ambiance of the vineyards. 

Take a virtual journey of Vienna's wine region

  • Viennese "Gemütlichkeit" at a typical Austrian tavern called a "Heuriger" © Oew Tokyo Viennese "Gemütlichkeit" at a typical Austrian tavern called a "Heuriger" © Oew Tokyo
  • Wine tavern in Grinzing © Wien Tourismus / Peter Rigaud Wine tavern in Grinzing © Wien Tourismus / Peter Rigaud
  • ヌスドルフにあるワイナリー・ウィニンガーのブドウ畑 © Wien Tourismus / Peter Rigaud ヌスドルフにあるワイナリー・ウィニンガーのブドウ畑 © Wien Tourismus / Peter Rigaud
  • ヌスドルフのワイナリー・ウィニンガー © Wien Tourismus / Peter Rigaud ヌスドルフのワイナリー・ウィニンガー © Wien Tourismus / Peter Rigaud

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