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 Filed as : Regional SpotlightAustria

On the Trail in Vienna

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  • Publish Date: Jul 28, 2009

Vienna, the cosmopolitan capital of Austria, is home to more than just classical music, exquisite cafés and some of the world’s greatest collections of art. The city of 1.7 million sees 8 million visitors pass through each year. In addtion to walking in the footsteps of Mozart and Strauss, or sipping coffee with the ghost of Freud, many come to step into Vienna’s vineyards.

Vienna is the only city of over one million people in the world that has rolling vineyards within its city limits. It is home to nearly 700 hectares of vineyards, producing some beautiful wines to serve at their famous Heurigers (Austrian taverns serving only wine).

If you visit, take a walk along the Vienna Wine Trail Vienna Wine Trail, a 10 kilometer (about 7 mile) trail that takes you through the vineyards so you can stop (and sip) at any of its wineries. Enjoy a Riesling or Grüner Veltliner, the most renowned Austrian white wine grape varietals, and be sure to stop by Wien Cobenzl (a winery along the trail), which won two awards at the 2008 Vienna Wine Awards.

A trail through beautiful vineyards, world class wine and one of Europe’s most culturally rich cities? Talk about a great getaway.

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Brewmaster Gone Winemaker
Less Glass, More Sass

Dec 10, 2009
Excellent write-up, but you missed one important factor about the wines of Vienna and the story would not be complete without a chapter entirely dedicated to Gemischter Satz - the only Austrian Wine that has been recognized by the Slow Food Foundation. The new generation of Viennese winemakers has made a concerted, united effort to improve quality and once again establish the city as an appellation to contend with. A large part of this revival is due to the wave of interest in the traditional Wiener Gemischter Satz. Gemischter Satz (literally 'mixed set' or "field blend") was made in Vienna for centuries, but became particularly dominant in the early part of the last century. After the first World War, Austria was in a serious state of fiscal depression. The farmers who owned the very small plots around the city had to guarantee themselves at least a small income, regardless of weather. To ensure they would always have some harvest they planted numerous varietals in the same field. If it were to cold or to wet for one, then maybe its neighbour might excel. The resulting fruit would be harvested and crushed together on the same day. Some grapes would be over ripe, some under. Some would have bright acidity, some would be softer. The resulting wine was a melting pot of character, not unlike Vienna itself. Although Gemischter Satz fell out of favor in the 70's and 80's, being replaced by single varietals like Gruener Veltliner and Zweigelt, the last 10 years has seen significant renewed interest in this very typically Viennese style of wine making. In order to preserve this heritage style of wine making, Gemischter Satz recently was included by Slow Food as an "Ark of Taste" and also made a "Presida Product". We are very pleased that we are able to offer wine from some of the key players in this exciting resurgence. We represent three of four growers that make up the Wien Wein Group, Richard Zahel, Rainer Christ and Michael Edlmoser, Fritz Wieninger being currently imported by Winebow/Emerald Wines. Please visit our website: or to see which wines are available in the US at this moment. Also in our portfolio are Stefan Hajszan, Jutta Ambrositsch, Mayer am Pfarrplatz/Rotes Haus, Hans Peter Goebel and the city owned winery, Cobenzl. From the Weinviertel we represent Weingut Martinshof of the Grinzing Heuriger 'Zum Martin Sepp' fame. Eric Asimov New York Times recent article on the wines of Vienna: THE POUR: An Honest Day’s Work From Vienna That any wine comes from Vienna seems absurd on the face of it. Great urban centers are not known for their vineyards, beyond a novel acre here and there. But Vienna is different.

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Sold for $160,000 at Christies in London, the most expensive regular sized bottle of wine ever sold was what?