ROUGH REGIONS GUIDE
It is rare to see Austrian wines in yachting, though they are certainly deserved of a place on your wine list if you can convince your owner or charter guest to try them!
High-quality red wines are produced here from indigenous grape varieties like Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch, but it is for the white wines of Riesling and Grüner Veltliner that Austria is most famous, and these whites are especially suitable for the yachting industry. As the Alps cover the whole western part of the country, all the wine regions are found in the east. There are sixteen wine regions in Austria, and the finest white wines will be found in regions of Wachau, Kamptal and Kremstal. Stylistically they are rather similar, so we will look at them in a group together with the grape varieties instead of by region.
Austria’s signature grape variety, this is practically only grown here and has become Austria’s point of difference in a crowded export market. It is capable of producing stunning, concentrated wines from the regions above, offering aromas of citrus, stone fruit, floral notes and sometimes a whiff of white pepper. Age-worthy examples tend to have crisp acidity, good concentration and be medium to full-bodied. The wines are mostly unoaked, though there are exceptions. The richest and most exclusive wines often come from Wachau, particularly the sub-region of Smaragd.
Compared to the lighter, more mineral-driven style of many German expressions, Austrian Riesling tends to be medium to full-bodied, given the warmer climate and often longer ripening seasons. These wines have high acidity, are usually unoaked and offer aromas of ripe lime, peach and floral notes. Concentrated examples with high acidity can age for a long time, developing notes of honey and toast.