Austria

There has been a wine revolution in Austria in the last few decades. Not long ago, its wines barely registered even for enthusiasts, but now, with modern winemaking techniques, great vineyard sites, an interesting range of grape varieties and a distinctive fine and focused style,  it is enjoying an increasingly enthusiastic following. One thing is true - the quality of Austrian wines has always been held to extremely high standards.  The vast majority of vineyards and wineries are family owned and even the larger cooperatives have strict regulations to meet. There are caps on maximum yields and tasting panels for approval of the top designated wines, all regulations that are meant to preserve the quality of wines across the entire country. 

Vineyards are only grown on the eastern side of Austria, and the four main wine producing regions are Lower Austria (which includes the famous Wachau, Kamptal, and Kremstal), Vienna, Burgenland, and Styria.  Soils are varied depending on the region but in general there are combinations of 'loess,' (which is a loose sedimentary soil comprised of clay, sand, and silt) along with granite, gneiss, schist, limestone, volcanic, and even iron ore.  The climate in Austria is cool continental and tempered by the influences of rivers and lakes.  

Austria’s trump card is its very own Grüner Veltliner - a grape that has single-handedly captured the attention of the world and which is proving to be capable of great complexity and variations in style. Characterized by its distinctive herbal and orchard fruit aromatics, Gruner's affinity towards loess makes it the perfect fit for Austria. Full-bodied, dry Riesling is also a great strength. Famous sweet wines are made from Rust in the Burgenland, which now is also a hotspot for the natural wine scene. Red wine by comparision is underrepresented, but those that are now beginning to be made with grape varieties like Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt are unique, fascinating and also high in quality.

Austria

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