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Jun 16, 2011 10:20 AM

Visiting Austria. Any tips on wine tasting?

My husband and I are visiting at the end of the summer. We've wine tasted in the US, Argentina and Australia/New Zealand, and have noticed the differences in tasting customes in these areas most notably that in Argentina you can really only visit by appointment and that you should go on the winery tours before. What should we expect visting wineries in Austria?

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    1. re: Trip Klaus

      We won't decide until we get there. Just driving from Italy to Vienna area, but if there are interesting places to visit elsewhere, we're game. Any suggestions?

      1. re: chewch

        If you have the opportunity you should stop in the Wachau area about 45 minutes outside of Vienna. If you have the time stay at the Landhaus Bacher in Mautern and visit some of the estates. However, unlike the new world most of the top estates do not have open tasting rooms. You must call or e-mail ahead for an appointment. While, the winemakers are happy to present their wines, because they can be quite costly and production is limited they do not simply have large tasting rooms open to groups of visitors. A couple who is visiting the area and is interested in wine should be welcome most places. Some places where tasting is easier and open are Jamek, which has a restaurant with all the wines available by the glass and the Domane Wachau cooperative in Durnstein which is large enough to have a shop and tasting room.

        In the nearby region of Kamptal, there is the wine museum in Langenlois, which has tastings and is also home to one of Austria's top wine producers Willi Brundlmeyer who has a tavern in town where the wines are available to taste by the glss at reasonable prices. Also in Kamptal is the Schloss Gobelsburger estate which can be visited by appointment.

    2. Well, drink a lot of it. Austrian wine is quite inexpensive, and all the cafes and restaurants I visited in Vienna had 5-10 bottles open by the glass. It cost half the price of soda.

      Great food in Vienna too, surprisingly light and healthy if schnitzel is your frame of reference as it was mine.

      You can taste at the heuringen in the ring of hills above Vienna using public transit. The Vienna tourist site has details. Many offer food and meals; excellent advice on the Europe board.

      1. Always nice to hear when someone is visiting the Austrian wine regions - I work with a PR company that helps promote Austrian wine in the US so having spent some time there myself and, of course, being a HUGE fan I'm always down to try to help.

        As it was noted, if any of the heurigen's are open you should definitely visit one in Vienna - it's quite a traditional experience and they'll offer you everything from Gemischter Satz to Gruner Veltliner to Pinot Noir.

        The good thing about Austrian wine regions is that they are all very close together. My fellow posters are correct , course, in telling you that there aren't open tasting rooms. But it is worth checking out the Lousium Hotel and museum if you have a chance in the Kamptal (they'll even ferment you into a grape.)

        If you have some time in Vienna and are looking for places to go out, definitely visit Wein & Co. and the Black Camel (Zum Schwarsen Kameel) as well as the American Bar - these will give you a sense of culture and also offer some great wines by the glass.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Vino CC

          Tried two of the Wein & co shops and found them brash, loud, and cold. One of the bar tops was actually plastic cutting board material. They are like a McWine.

          Search out some smaller local spots down the side streets. May not get the wine selection but you'll have fun exploring and get more atmosphere and friendly company. Another option is spend a little more and visit Le Cru champagne bar. Cozy, good music and a mind blowing "Wall of Champagne" !

          1. re: PoppiYYZ

            Wein & Co wine bars have two functions.
            First: they sell all types of Austrian and foreign wine by the bottle and by the glass.
            Second: they are a basic watering hole and single bar.

            If you prefer a quiet wine bar with a barperson who will help you discover Austrian wine, you will be better of in the Meinl wine bar in the basement below the delicatessen

            or at Unger & Klein on Rudolfsplatz

            And there are many small wine bars in hidden corners, and you might find one just by chance nearby.

            Any yes, we too love Le Cru at Petersplatz !!