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Wine holidays in Austria

© by Peter Burgstaller / Österreich Werbung

Wine holidays in Austria are a splendid combination of wine tasting, local cuisine and enjoying nature – in a historical environment accompanied by Austrian hospitality.

Wine tasting is, of course, the most important in any wine holiday. Nevertheless, to complete the wine experience, you must get out of the wine cellar. Austria’s wine regions are perfect for enjoying nature and local culture. Moreover, the distances are small, the sights plentiful, and the activities diverse.

Best in wine tourism

Austria’s traditional foods, such as the Wienerschnitzel and Apfelstrudel, are widely known. However, despite Austria being most famous for its beers, its wines are steadily gaining a good reputation. The wine scandals of the ’80s are forgotten, as the Austrian wine industry has cleaned up its act. Austrian winegrowers produce quality wines that wine experts and wine lovers worldwide highly prize. Furthermore, the Austrians have fused their excellent tourist industry with winemaking and earned prestige worldwide. In February 2016, the US tourist industry elected Austria for «Best Wine Travel Destination Europe» at the Travvy Awards 2016.

Vineyard vacations

Many Austrian vineyards have ventured into tourism, offering anything from wine tasting to complete wine holiday packages. Whether you are a  wine connoisseur or want to enjoy the good life, you will find a suitable wine holiday in Austria. Therefore, even if you are travelling through Austria or are on a quick business trip, check out a local winery. We strongly recommend stopping by a local vineyard to taste local produce. Moreover, many vineyards also have taverns, so-called heurigen, or buschenschank, that serve local traditional foods.

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Wine regions

Even though grapes are grown in all states, most vineyards are in the eastern part of Austria. Lower Austria, Vienna, Burgenland, and Styria are the primary wine-producing states. Moreover, all the different wine regions have distinctive characteristics due to the soil, location, and climate. These factors, combined with local culinary traditions and extraordinary natural beauty, offer the traveller a wide choice of wine holidays.


One of my favourite regions is Wachau, located about 100 km west of Vienna in the Danube Valley. Wachau is prized for its picture-perfect landscape. It is known for picturesque villages, mediaeval castles and vineyards. The easiest way to visit is by car, which can also be enjoyed from a cruise ship on the Danube. Alternatively, on a bike along the bicycle trail that runs all along the river. Likewise, I love travelling in the “Volcano land” region in south-eastern Styria. The region’s green rolling hills, dotted with villages, farms and vineyards, delight any traveller. If you are looking for quality wines from small family-run vineyards combined with genuine Styrian culture, this is the place for you. Nonetheless, these are only a few examples, and Austria’s wine regions have a unique flair.



Writing an article about wine holidays without at least mentioning grapes is impossible. Austria uses 35 different grapes in their wine production. There are three official wine classifications: Qualitätswein, Prädikatswein, and Landwein. Not surprisingly, the grape Grüner Veltliner represents about 1/3 of the total crop. Other white wine grapes grown in Austria are Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Muskateller, Traminer, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. The most popular red grapes are Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch.

Furthermore, the soil contributes significantly to the variation of the taste and intensity of the grapes. This gives wine from different regions their distinctive characteristics. Another critical factor is the climate. Austria has a cool climate, which is also quite significant for the character of the wine.


Wine routes

The Austrian tourism industry and the vineyards have made wine holidays easy. They have composed so-called wine routes, or in German; Weinstrassen. We’ve collected a few links to websites of wine routes in Austria. Get more info and see the packages on offer, to plan your wine holidays in Austria.

Austrian Wine

Viennese wine & Heurige (Vienna)

Weinstrasse Weinviertel (Lower Austria)

Thermenregion Wienerwald (Lower Austria)

Wein Burgenland (Burgenland)

Steirischer Wein (Styria)

Oststeirischen Römerweinstrasse (Styria)

Südsteirische Weinstrasse (Styria)

If you plan to stay in Austria for more than a week, I would suggest you combine your wine holiday with other activities. Depending on your interests you could combine it with hiking in the Alps or visiting a historic small town.

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Written by Arnold Weisz

Globetrotting multilingual communications specialist born in Vienna, Austria – with passion for scuba diving, golf and culinary delights! 15 years of experience as a scuba- and travel reporter for among others: X-Ray Dive Magazine and Dykking.