Wine-growing in a major capital city? In Vienna, it’s a tradition! And today, with 700 hectares of vineyards, it plays an important economic role. In fact, these vineyards contribute to the preservation of the green belt - something that helps form the basis of high wine quality. The excellent range of wines here include the quintessential Gemischter Satz (field blend), Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) Chardonnay and precious red wines as well.
Up until the late Middle Ages, vines were grown inside the ramparts of Vienna, lacing right to the centre. Today´s vineyards are situated mainly on the outskirts of Vienna: on the Bisamberg, north of the Danube, vines cultivated by wine-growers from Strebersdorf, Stammersdorf and Jedlersdorf belong to the Pinot family. In Heiligenstadt, Nussdorf, Grinzing, Sievering and Neustift am Walde - all parts of northwestern Vienna, the varieties Riesling, Chardonnay and Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) are dominant because of soils rich in limestone. In the southern parts of Vienna, namely Mauer, Rodaun and Oberlaa, are black earth soils that favour strong white wines as well as opulent red wine cuvées.
However, no Viennese wine-grower would do without the traditional "Gemischter Satz" – defined by different grape varieties that not only are planted next to each other, but also are harvested together at the same time. In the past, this method was used to reduce the risk of variable harvesting conditions; today, the method has again grown in popularity. Equally, the Nussberg – a top growing location – has been re-discovered, and now attracts young wine-growers - many who´ve left other professions to take the plunge into wine making.
Without doubt, Vienna's Heurigen are legendary. They are popular with people from all walks of life - locals as much as tourists – and regardless of whether they are the permanently-open ones with generous warm and cold buffets, or are the small, discreet ones hidden in the Kellergassen (small streets in the middle of the vineyards, lined with cellars) and open only for a few weeks during the year. Also, the growers offer top class wines that can be purchased by the glass as well as by the bottle; wines that should satisfy even the most demanding connoisseur. Finally, another pleasant aspect of Viennese viticulture is the fact that modern cellars and technological equipment harmonise so well with the traditions of old, established family wine estates.