New Wine in Vienna

A Viennese Treat

In 1784, Emperor Joseph II issued a decree allowing vintners to sell their newly fermented wine without tax and directly to the customer. An evergreen bough, a buschen, hanging outside the gate would signal that the wine was ready. Eventually the vintners began providing wooden tables under the arbors for their guests and setting out a variety of snacks to go with the wine. The rustic wine tavern that evolved from this is called a ‘heuriger’, meaning ‘this year’s’, referring to the young wine. Vienna is said to be the home of the heuriger and from there the concept spread across Austria.

A short taxi ride from the city centre brings you to Mayer am Pfarrplatz, a typical heuriger (and Vienna’s smallest vineyard). They mainly produce Gemischter Satz, a blended wine from two or more different grape varieties grown in the same vineyard and vinified together. This wine has gained DAC status. Other white varieties are Grüner Veltliner, Weissburgunder and Rheinriesling. Red wines to try are Blauer Zweigelt, Blauburgunder and Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy a relaxed meal or a simple snack with your wine.

Towards the rear of the garden is the entrance to a newly opened museum, the little house where Beethoven lived and worked in 1817 and where he created his Symphony No. 9. For details of the heuriger and of the Beethoven Museum visit: www.