The Tasting Rooms of Wagram, Austria
This cool-climate wine region along the Danube River is packed with stops for the oenophile.
Weingutt Ott/Photo courtesy of Steve Haider
Just a 35-minute drive from Vienna International Airport, Wagram, Austria, offers opportunities to taste the rich 1,000-year-old wine culture that has been slapped savvy by a new generation of vintners. The Wagram is a mighty loess plateau stretching along the north bank of the Danube River, with perfect conditions for spicy Grüner Veltliner and other cool-climate varieties—like Riesling, Zweigelt and Pinot Noir—to thrive.
This cool, shimmering, green glass structure is perched on the edge of the Wagram loess precipice and suspended over the surrounding vineyards. Guests have the option of sampling some 35 wines from regional artisans as a taste or as a by-the-glass pour. Modern interpretations of regional dishes from local ingredients complete the experience.
One of the historic architectural jewels of Austria, the Stift Klosterneuburg monastery is Austria’s oldest and largest working winery. As the country’s first carbon-neutral wine producer, it’s also one of the most visionary. Impressive daily tours of the state-of-the-art winemaking facility and expansive Baroque cellars are offered—tasting included. Check the event calendar for concerts and exhibitions.
The Gothic chapel, overgrown arcades, alchemist museum and weathered aristocratic atmosphere speak to this farm estate’s colorful 700-year history. After a fascinating tour and tasting of the superb range of Grüner Veltliner and other biodynamic wine specialties, dine in the garden of the estate’s award-winning restaurant.
Avant-garde vintner Bernhard Ott has committed his heart and soul to Grüner Veltliner. The variety appears in several styles—from light and crisp quaffers to deep and complex single- vineyard bottlings—all organically produced. His newest experiment, named Qverve, is made by fermenting grape juice on skins in amphorae. Boutique winery tours and tastings are available by appointment.
Three Leth family generations cultivate a unique vineyard containing approximately 250 different varieties, many of them rare or nearly extinct. The Simply Wow field blend can be tasted along with the award-winning Grüner and Roter Veltliners in the chic, new tasting room Monday through Saturday. Appointments advisable.