Viticulture in the big city? Often these are show vineyards as a tourist attraction. Not so in Vienna: here, 612 hectares of vineyards are an essential economic factor; they serve to preserve the green belt and are the basis for high quality wine. The variety ranges from the typical Gemischter Satz to elegant Rieslings and powerful Piont Blancs, to high-quality red wines.
As far back as the late Middle Ages vines stood within the city walls of Vienna, as far as today's first district. Today, the focus of viticulture is in the suburbs on the outskirts of the city: the sites on the Bisamberg north of the Danube - farmed by vintners from Strebersdorf, Stammersdorf and Jedlersdorf - are favourable for the Burgundy family and red varieties.
In the 17th, 18th and especially 19th districts of Heiligenstadt, Nussdorf, Grinzing, Sievering and Neustift am Walde, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc are favoured on the mostly very chalky soils.
In the south of Vienna at Mauer, Rodaun and Oberlaa, black earth soils are found; good for vibrant white wines and opulent red wine cuvées. However, hardly any vintner does without the traditional Gemischter Satz, in which at least three different white wine grape varieties are planted together in the vineyard and also harvested together for wine. Formerly intended as a risk mitigation for uneven harvest conditions, this type of wine is now enjoying renewed popularity.
The top Nussberg site has also been rediscovered, attracting young imaginative winemakers from all parts of the city - including lateral entrants - almost magically.
The appeal of the Viennese institution of the Heuriger is also legendary. Whether it's a continuously open pub with a sumptuous cold and hot buffet or a small hidden Buschenschank in the Kellergassen, in the middle of the vineyards, only open a few weeks a yea.r They are all a real magnet for visitors; locals as well as for the numerous tourists.
Even discerning wine lovers get their money's worth from the growing range of top wines, which are also served by the glass. The fact that modern cellar architecture and technological equipment can be combined well with the tradition of long-established family wineries is also a congenial feature of the development of Viennese viticulture. The leading wineries in the metropolis have come together in the "WIENWEIN" group to promote their wines more effectively.
The Slow Food movement awarded the Wiener Gemischter Satz as a "Presidio product" back in 2008. It was the first Austrian product to be awarded this highest seal of quality.