Considering that it shares borders with winemaking powerhouses Germany and Italy, it’s quite a surprise that Austria doesn’t have a bigger reputation in the wine world. Except for a few big names, Austria’s wine industry flies a little below the radar. However, those who go on a wine cruise and make the effort to explore it find something truly exceptional.
Despite its modest size, Austria offers a range of microclimates and terroirs, that make for interesting and diverse wine production. Typically, Austria’s wine producers favor quality over quantity, and while it’s not the cheapest wine region – it consistently offers excellent reds, whites and sparkling varieties.
The most famous of the Austrian grapes is Gruner Veltliner, which can be found throughout Austria as well as neighboring Hungary, Slovakia and Czechia. This superb white shares some characteristics with Reisling, and it is popular with white drinkers, as well as red lovers who will appreciate its complexity. It also features unique characteristics, with a peppery dry taste, with signature effervescence.
You certainly can’t go wine tasting in Austria without trying Gruner Veltliner – but there is so much more. In fact, the hardest decision is narrowing down which wineries will make it on your itinerary.
To that end, here are two absolutely fabulous wineries that you just can’t miss in Austria – and why.
If you think of the ultimate wine tasting experience, it probably looks something like a visit to Schloss Gobelsburg. With a jaw-dropping setting, amazing selection of wine and impeccable service, Schloss Gobelsburg really does set the bar high for wine tasting in Austria. Plus, Schloss Gobelsburg has consistently been awarded amongst the top wineries in the world.
The first thing you notice as you approach the vineyard is the impressive castle standing grandly on the property. While most of the castle dates from the 16th century, the land’s history can be traced back to the 11th century when it was inhabited by monks. In fact, it was not long after this that it is believed that the first grapes were planted in the area. Now that’s a pretty impressive credential!
Amazingly, the tradition of wine being made by monks continued all the way through until 1995, fundamentally shaping the Schloss Gobelsburg approach. This makes it one of the oldest, and most respected, wineries in Austria.
While the vineyard has an illustrious history of wine making, it has also stayed abreast current trends. The result is wine that mixes both traditional and cutting-edge approaches, to create delectable reds, whites and sparkling. All are single-vineyard wines, from grapes including Pinot Noir, Riesling and Merlot. Of course, Gruner Veltliner is also represented.
There is certainly no doubt that Schloss Gobelsburg is a worthy addition to any wine cruise or tour. This incredible winery has impressed visitors and critics alike, and you are sure to be blown away by all that is on offer.
Do you love sparkling wine? If so, you are in for a real treat at Weingut Bründlmayer, a stunning vineyard around 43 miles from Vienna. Should you wish to raise a special glass, then this may just be it – the Weingut Bründlmayer sparkling was named the best in the world.
Under the careful and watchful eye of master winemaker Willi Bründlmayer, single vineyard wines are crafted. Each wine is designed to be a celebration of the landscape on which the grapes are grown; carefully considering all of the features including the soil and climate, to craft a delicious bottle.
And delicious it is. Weingut Bründlmayer’s selection of wines is enough to impress any wine lover. The classic Austrian grape, Gruner Veltliner, is of course available to try, with Riesling and Chardonnay also produced. In red varieties, the unique Zweigelt is a must try, while the Pinot Noir is also fabulous.
Despite their many accolades, Weingut Bründlmayer remains, at its heart, a family owned winery. Willi’s wife is involved in many facets of the business, and visitors are warmly welcomed. Wine production is much more than just a trade here, but a passion – and one that is gladly shared with visitors.
There’s no doubt that these two fabulous vineyards are worthy additions to your Austrian or European wine tour. Offering sumptuous wine, magical views and the chance to learn more about the art of Austrian wine making, they are totally unmissable.
Contact us today to learn more about how you can visit these historic Austrian vineyards.