Certainly, you've heard some tales from the Vienna Woods. You have if you've listened to Stauss lately. In any case, you wouldn't think woods would be conducive to growing grapes, but if you've been thinking about getting out in the countryside and you'd also like some great food and wine as well, then think of the area around Vienna.
Wine quality ratings you'll see on bottles: Tafelwein (table wine), Qualitätswein (wine of quality), and Prädikatswein ("certified" quality wine). Check out this Austria wine region information.
Lower Austria Wine Region
Lower Austria offers some off-the-beaten-track adventures--and some pretty fine wines. Don't be confused though, the Lower Austria wine region comprises the small regions on the north of the wine map.
The Wachau, for example, has many of its vineyards laid out on ancient terraces. It's a beautiful enough historic area to have been added to UNESCO's world heritage list. The primary wine is Riesling, but there is also Grüner Veltliner, Chardonnay (Feinburgunder), and Gelber Muskateller to try. The region has less rain than other regions, and the wines are big and bold here.
Burgenland Wine Region
Tourists may well wish to hang out in the Neusiedler lake (Neusiedlersee) area on the Hungarian border. There are some fine, dry white wines and a handful of quality reds produced here. Neusiedler is a very shallow lake and provides a good climate for noble rot, which produces exotic sweet wines. Neusiedler lake is a popular Viennese recreation area with a popular bird sanctuary; the cultural landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Vintner's villages like Rust or Mörbisch are recommended for folks who like a little charm with their wine. The Mörbisch Festival on the Lake happens in summer. Mörbisch is just north of the border with Hungary and 60 km south of Vienna (map of Mörbisch and the floating festival stage).
Steiermark - Styrian Wine Region
If you dream of patchwork vineyards and rolling hills, the Südsteiermark, or southern Styria wine region is for you. The varietals here are familiar to American wine drinkers. In the southwest Styria wine region, you'll have to taste the Gewürztraminer and the dry late harvest Traminer.
Vienna is alone in being a European capital with a wine region producing significant amounts of wine within city limits. You won't likely find a bottle in stores; it's mostly consumed at wine bars called Heuriger within city limits.
Vienna is not only a province and the capital of a province. It is also a wine-growing region in its own right with a wine-growing surface of about 700 hectars. About 85% is dedicated to white wine grape varietals. Wine types such as Riesling, Weissburgunder, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon blanc and Gelber Muskatteller produce distinctly fruity and elegant wines. A growing number of Viennese wine growers are producing red wines, in particular, Zweigelt and St. Laurent along with trendy international types such as Merlot, Pinot noir, and Syrah.
So, what's all this about the Vienna Woods. Well, Vienna happens to sit upon the western rim of what is known as the Vienna basin, which is on the slopes of the Vienna Woods. This green belt is protected. There are many hiking trails through the woods and the villages are likely to have Heurigans or wine taverns with good food, wine, and music.
Don't miss the Heiligenkreuz Abbey in the southern Vienna Woods.
Vienna has a City Forestry Office. They've plotted and signposted 13 walks (and longer hikes) accessible by public transport in and around the city of Vienna. Each walk has a map, a list of sights, and restaurant recommendations.
Championship of Austrian Wine Towns-The Floh Wine Cup
Most wine competitions seem boring. You dress up. You taste wines. You spit.
When Josef Floh gets people together for his annual Floh Wine Cup, things are decidedly different.
Chances are, Josef Floh won't invite you to this year's wine competition, but you can go to his restaurant in Langenlebarn, Langashoaus Floh.