The Austrian capital has a winemaking history that stretches back to the 12th century. Some 630 producers in the greater metropolitan area cultivate wine from 1,680 acres of vineyards, mostly producing crisp whites such as Gruner Vetliner and Riesling. There are an estimated 180 wine taverns clustered around the city and in suburbs, and many wine bars, or vinotheks lure patrons from within the city center. Most first-time visitors aren't especially aware, however, that wine-tasting opportunities are so abundant here. From traditional vineyard estates called Heurigen (pronounced "hoy-reh-gehn") to top-rate wine bars, these are ten of the best places to taste wine in Vienna.
Before you set out to explore some of the spots on our list, make sure to check out the Vienna Heurigen Express, which offers a hop-on, hop-off tour through the vineyards and estates around the city. This is an especially good option if you want to avoid driving but still plan to visit several vineyards and heurigen in a single day. There are two routes available, giving you plenty of options for exploring the area's many idyllic taverns and wineries. Also please be aware that most heurigen are open only during high season (roughly late April through October), and many close on public holidays.
01 of 10
Buschenschank Stift St. Peter Wine Tavern
One of the oldest and loveliest heurige in the greater Vienna region, the Buschenschank Stift St. Peter Wine Tavern is hugely popular with locals for its excellent wines and historic grounds. The site has been the property of the Benedictine Monks of St. Peter since the year 104; the order has produced wine here since around the same time.
Easily accessible by a tram that heads south from the city center, the tavern is located in vineyards situated in the town of Oberlaa, offering an easy escape from the urban hustle-and-bustle in under an hour. Enjoy the latest harvests of house wines made to this day by the Benedictine community, nosh on a plate of Austrian breads, cheeses, charcuterie, and salads, and take in a traditional folk music show. Inside the cheerful yellow buildings with rustic stone interiors, you'll feel transported to a distant medieval era. In the late spring and summer, the outdoor terrace area is pleasant, noisy and joyful, and on hot days there's something refreshing and relaxing about sipping a chilled glass of Konventwein (literally, convent wine), Gruner Vetliner, or Rhein Riesling.
Location: Rupertusplatz 5, 1170 Vienna (Tram station: Dornbacher Strasse; Buses: Take Line 44 A to Heuberggasse)
02 of 10
Mayer am Nussberg
Another much-prized local winery and heurige close to the city limits, Mayer am Nussberg is plunged in the verdant, hilly belt known as Kahlenberg, where numerous winemakers and historic taverns abound. Affording gorgeous views over the city, this Buschenschank (a Viennese term for wine taverns that also offer lodging to visitors, traditionally designated by wooden bundles hung over the entrance) is popular for very good reason.
Nestled in the rustic town of Grinzig, the inn offers a lovely selection of locally produced wines from Gruner Vetliner to Gemischter Satz and a refreshing sparkling rosé. The restaurant serves traditional Austrian fare in generous portions. A large, pleasant outdoor terrace area complete with comfortable table seating and chaises lounges is perfect for lazy spring or summer afternoons. Try hiking from Nussdorf to the inn—it takes less than half an hour on average and affords both fresh air and lovely photo opportunities.
Location: Kahlenberger Straße bei Nr. 210, 1190 Vienna. Bus: Take Line 38A to the Kahlenburg bus station; walk 15-20 minutes through the vineyards to the heurige. This tavern is also served by the Vienna Heurigen Express hop-on, hop off bus service, departing from Nussdorf. Alternatively, take the tram Line D from the city center to Nussdorf, Beethovengan and follow the trail towards Kahlenberg and wineries-- with the aid of Google Maps or a GPS, of course.
03 of 10
Weingut Wien Cobenzl
Also located in the storybook-pretty area of Grinzig, Cobenzl Vineyards produces wines from around 150 acres of vineyards nestled close to the Danube river. Their cellars, which offer tastings and tours for those interested are complemented by an onsite restaurant and lush gardens popular with locals, especially during the warm summer months.
The winery produces everything from crisp whites, such as Gruner Vetliner and Riesling, to fuller-bodied red wines, as well as a mixed-grape varietal wine known locally as "Wiener Gemischte Satz." Make sure to try the latter at least once. Composed of up to 20 different varieties of grapes, it's certainly a distinctive white native to Vienna.
This winery's focus on sustainable agriculture and modern winemaking will interest anyone wishing to learn more about more recent techniques. Cobenzl also keeps several colonies of local bees that produce organic honey right onsite.
Location: Gölsdorfgasse 2, 1010 Vienna (Tram station: Marienbrucke; U-Bahn station: Schottenring)
04 of 10
Unger Und Klein Wine Bar
This elegant yet cozy wine bar and shop located in the historic city center (and close to the banks of the Danube River) has been a staple in the Austrian capital for over 20 years. Offering dozens of wines from around the world, as well as several house wines produced in partnership with local wineries (reds, whites, and rosés alike), Unger und Klein also serves a variety of nibbles, from cheese and Italian-style antipasti to traditional Austrian cold cuts. It's often packed, especially after work hours on weekdays and during the weekend.
The principle? Choose a bottle off the shelf, and if you want to drink in, you'll pay a corkage fee to sit and enjoy. The staff is reputed as helpful and friendly, too.
A word of caution: Some travelers have reported this bar as being quite smoky. Since Austrian anti-smoking laws are currently in flux, with recent legislation against smoking indoors to possibly be overturned, it may be best to avoid this spot if you're sensitive to cigarette smoke.
Location: Gölsdorfgasse 2, 1010 Vienna (Tram station: Marienbrucke; U-Bahn station: Schottenring)Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Kierlinger Vineyards & Wine Tavern
With a history stretching back some 200 years, this heurige is easy to access from the city center by tram or bus and is pleasantly located close to the riverbanks of the Danube. Like many of the city's most-popular wine taverns and vineyard estates, it's located in the green forested area known as Kahlenberg, part of the Vienna Woods. It makes for an ideal and easy day trip from the city center since it's only about 30 minutes away.
The cheerful yellow tavern has won numerous awards for its local wines and delicious traditional dishes, making it one of the most coveted heurigen in the region. The outdoor garden offers shade under old chestnut and lime trees, while on rainy days the countrified interior of the tavern is the perfect place to get away from the wet with a glass of white and deliciously seasoned platters. Schnitzel, potato salad, hearty breads and cheeses, and homemade cakes are among the traditional Austrian and Viennese dishes and specialities you can sample at Kierlinger's numerous buffets, alongside an impressive list of wines.
Location: Kahlenberger Str. 20, 1190 Vienna (Tram station: Nussdorf S (Line D); Bus: Take line S 40 to the Wien Nussdorf Banhof station)
06 of 10
Wein & Co
Part wine shop and part bar/restaurant, Wein & Co has several locations throughout the city, including three in the center. While this isn't necessarily the first place most would beeline to for a late night of sipping wine and indulging in weighty conversation, the local chain offers a simple, pleasant way to familiarize yourself with Austrian wines and perhaps come away with a bottle. The concept is simple: choose among hundreds of bottles of Austrian, European, and global origin in the dedicated cellar, and ask for one of the staff members to regale you with a tasting or two at the bar.
The decor is modern, bright, and friendly, and if you're hankering for a light bite, you can choose from among cheese and charcuterie platters, soups, and salads and other tasty local fare. The Stephansplatz bar has a pleasant terrace where you can enjoy balmy spring or summer evenings, too. One thing that may prove an attractive plus for many patrons, especially while anti-smoking legislation remains a big question mark in Austria, is that smoking isn't permitted inside at any of Wein & Co's locations.
Location: Jasomirgottstraße 3, 1010 Vienna (UBahn/underground station: Stephansplatz)
07 of 10
This charming spot first opened its doors in 1609 and is one of the oldest and most traditional of the local heurigen in the greater Viennese region. Well-known for its high-quality house wines and Austrian treats from savory to sweet, the Heuriger Wolff is situated in the sleepy Viennese district known as Neustift am Walde, a countrified, charming area full of vineyards and wine taverns. You can even visit this one as part of a "heurige-hop" around the area if you want to get a large local sampling.
With its yellow and green tavern and inviting garden area complete with large picnic tables and flowering plants, this is a lovely place to perch for a couple of glasses of house whites or reds. If your appetite calls for it, enjoy various Viennese delicacies at the buffet, serving everything from salads to Wiener Schnitzel and apple strudel.
Location: Rathstraße 44-50, 1190 Vienna (Bus: Take lines 35A, 43B or N35 to the Neustift am Walde station, then walk five minutes east to the heurige.)
08 of 10
Owned by the wine grower and restaurateur Peter Bernreiter, this appealing winery and tavern is located in the Jedlersdorf district of Vienna north of the Danube and is easily reached by tram.
Offering a generous list of locally made wines, from Chardonnay to Gruner Vetliner and Weissburgunder, Bernreiter is a sprawling restaurant that offers a buffet with plenty of options for lunch or dinner. Even vegetarians will find something other than bread, cheese, and potato salad here: non-meat options include fried vegetables and vegetarian casseroles.
This popular local tavern and winery is open year-round, meaning that if you visit the Austrian capital during low season, you can still get a taste of the distinctive Viennese heurige culture.
Location: Jedlersdorf, Amtsstraße 24-26, 1210 Vienna (Tram station: Take line 30 or 31 to Carabelligasse )Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Vinothek Der Wein
Conveniently located between central Stephansplatz and the Vienna Mitte railway station, the Vinothek Der Wein has gained praise from wine and food aficionados for its excellent selection of Austrian wines, cheese and tapas plates, and attentive service. There's a modest but decent list of wines to try by the glass from Austrian Gewurtztraminer whites to reds from Napa Valley, Italy, or Bordeaux. Two small corners of the large wine shop are fitted with tables for tasting and enjoying a light meal.
This is an especially good choice for a last-minute glass at the end of your stay on your way back to the airport. You might indulge in a tasting and/or simple dinner before hopping on the city airport train and catching your flight home.
Location: Riemergasse 6, 1010 Vienna (U-Bahn/Underground station: Stephansplatz)
10 of 10
Vinothek St. Stephan
Yet another vinothek (wine emporium) in close reach of the central hub of Stephansplatz, the Vintothek St. Stephan claims to be the city's first of its kind, having opened in 1976. The atmosphere is classic and prestigious here, and the Austrian wine list is extensive—choose between whites, reds, rosés and ports hailing from around Vienna, the Wachau Valley, and numerous other prestigious vintnering regions. In addition to the impressive collection of local wines, the Vinothek also sells and serves bottles from important vintnering regions around the globe, from France and Argentina to South Africa and California. The bar also serves a variety of gins, sherries, craft beers, spirits, and whiskies, including rums from Martinique and Cuba and absinthe from Spain. You can accompany your meal with cheese and charcuterie plates or even fine caviar.
Prices here are a bit steeper than elsewhere, but the focus is on quality and elegance. If you're after a classic Viennese night out near St. Stephan's Cathedral, this might be the place to try.
Location: Stephansplatz 6, 1010, 1010 Vienna (UBahn/underground station: Stephansplatz)