Walk through the streets of Vienna and it’s easy to realize why so many people love this city. I had heard lovely things about the beauty of Austria, and I was excited to finally be able to walk the streets filled with sunshine. 

This trip to Austria was pulled together to celebrate Vie Vinum, a wine festival where all of the best of Austrian wine is showcased for people all over the world to taste and learn more about the wines of this region.

Vie Vinum, now celebrating its 20th year, is a widely loved and celebrated wine event built around the best of Austrian wine. It’s a place where you can taste old wine, meet talented winemakers and learn about the history and modernity of Austrian wine. I attended an abundance of specific lectures and tastings – moderated by international personalities of the wine industry; and was able to make my way out to Burgenland and Kamptal to taste both the whites and the red wines that come from this beautiful region. I managed bringing home 3 bottles of wine in my suitcase without being overweight in my baggage. Talk about a winning and memorable way to experience Austria for the first time! Not to mention enjoying a romantic sunset carriage ride through the streets of Vienna (which is a must do!).

The month of June is the perfect time to travel in. The sun shines down at a perfect temperature, the city is buzzing with visitors and locals alike and it’s a great time to sit back and enjoy a glass of wine on a patio while staring at stunning scenery at the well-known Naschmarkt. Sitting close to the 49th parallel, Austria is a cool climate wine growing region with areas that get a little warmer which makes it great for both white and red wine production. Grüner Veltliner is their signature white wine grape, with Riesling being a close second. If you’ve never heard of Grüner (or GrüVe as some like to call it) or tasted it, it tastes like a blend between an unoaked Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. It is the white signature grape of Austria and believe it or not, we only get one bottle of this in the Ontario retail market. Marked with a great backbone of acidity and refreshing aromatics, it’s a wonderful wine for the summer months and to show off to friends as a bottle to discover. If you’re able to find one on a wine list, I highly recommend trying a bottle and sharing it with friends. Red grapes like Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Pinot Noir, and Blaufrankisch are also grown and loved. Due to more favourable conditions, most of the winegrowing regions are located in the eastern part of the country with some smaller regions all over the rest of the country. Steep slopes, rolling hills, warm sunshine and beautiful vines are all around wine country. A dream come true type of wine adventure, Austrian wine country is as gorgeous as you might think it is. It’s worth a trip and a taste. If you’re able to taste some of the wines from older vintages, that’s also something you must do! Visit a winery and ask to see the cellar, and believe that a bottle you purchase and take home can be aged for decades. Although it might be challenging to find an Austrian wine on a restaurant wine list, I highly recommend exploring the wines of the region by asking the in-house sommelier if there are any Austrian wines on their list and giving them a try – who doesn’t love a good wine adventure?

To learn more about Austrian wine click here >