Nectar of the Vine
Not only does Vienna have a wine-growing tradition that traces back to Celtic farmers around 500 BC, it's the world’s only major city to produce wine within the city limits. Enjoy tastings among the vineyards, where charming Heuriger (wine taverns) and unforgettable city views are conveniently reached via public transportation. At Mayer am Pfarrplatz, where Beethoven spent hours writing parts of his 9th Symphony, try the dry, crisp and wonderfully aromatic Gemischter Satz paired with asparagus Cordon Bleu. Hotel Rathaus Wein & Design introduces guests to every Austrian wine region with its enviable wine list and wine-centric guest rooms. For a special treat tour Palais Coburg’s six unique wine cellars, home to an astonishing collection of rare wines spanning four centuries.
While Austria’s wine experience begins in Vienna, it certainly doesn’t end there. Beautiful Klosterneuburg Abbey, a twelfth-century Augustinian monastery, offers tastings and tours deep underground at its state-of-the art winery in a Baroque cellar. A picturesque drive along the Danube River leads to Wagram, one of Austria’s most scenic wine regions and home to Weritas, a must-stop for seasonal fare and tastings from local vintners. At Mörwald Cooking School, you can learn the secrets of Austrian cuisine from star chef Toni Mörwald, then enjoy a shared dinner paired with Austrian wines. Overnight among the vineyards at the LOISIUM in Langenlois, an oenophile paradise where guests can tour 900-year-old wine cellars.
For lovers of dessert wine, the lakeside vineyards along Austria’s eastern edge are nirvana. The Neusiedlersee (Lake Neusiedl) also produces ideal conditions for intense, spicy reds like the increasingly popular Blaufränkisch. This gorgeous UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site has long been a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts, and now design lovers are joining the flock. Burgenland is an open-air gallery of Wine Architecture by Austria’s talented architects. Think steel-skinned additions perched atop ancient cellars, glass-walled tasting rooms and dramatically angled structures that jut out from gentle hillsides. Stay on the edge of a vineyard at Wohnothek am Ratschen or at historic Moslechners Bürgerhaus, a winery built in 1537.
For more highlights, please see our 3-day intinerary