Austrian Wine Map
Although Austria is not exactly a household name in the wine world, it's pre-eminent variety, Gruner Veltliner, almost iss. It came to prominence in the 00s, due to its food friendly flavor profile, white peppery punch and kick-ass acidity (yes, that's an industry term.)
Regions of Note:
- Wachau (region 1) is renowned for producing stunningly terroir driven Rieslings and Gruner Veltliners. Additionally, they have a unique classification system for indicating ripeness or weight on their fine wines:
- Steinfeder: Super light and crisp.
- Federspiel: Slightly richer, and more robust
- Smaragd: Full bodied and rich
- Wagram (region 5) Also a famous region for a richer style of GruVe as well as it's cousin Roter Veltliner.
- Neusiedlersee (region 9) Try saying that 10 times fast! This region is famous for its large shallow lake, which producers oodles of fog, which encourages the development of Botrytis Cinerea, aka the Noble Rot.
Varieties of note:
- Gruner Veltliner: one sip explains why this was once the darling of sommeliers across the country. This baby pairs beautifully with notoriously difficult to match foods like artichokes and asparagus. The piercing acidity also allows it to cut through the richness of dishes like weiner schnitzels.
- Riesling: Oilier and richer than it's German and Alsatian counterparts, but still bone dry and uber delish.
- Mueller Thurgau: Another frankengrape (read artificially created in a lab), this Riesling Sylvaner cross produces wines that run the gamut from simple and quaffable to stellar.
- Pinot Blanc: AKA Weisburgunder Often used for blending, but can produce stellar wines on its own: fresh and floral when young with a zippy acidity, it can develop beautiful hazelnutty, spicy components with a little extra bottle age.
- Zweigelt: Austria's most widely grown red grape is technically the result of Blaufrankisch crossed with St Laurent. Although it is light weight, the flavor profile always reminds us of the love child of Merlot and Syrah: Smooth, medium bodied with a delightful black pepper finish.
- St Laurent: Austria's answer to Pinot Noir, light, silky with beautiful fruit and mineral.
- Home of world famous glassware produce Reidel.
- Infamous for the 80's practice of lacing wines with anti-freeze in order to make them sweeter and more palatable (yes, that happened). They have since cleaned up their act, and their wine standards are now the most stringent in the world.