Austria's liquid gold

Austria is famous for its wide range of sweet wine specialities. The luscious and fruity Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Ausbruch, Trockenbeerenauslese, Eiswein (ice wine) and Strohwein capture the imaginations of wine lovers around
the world.

A picture shows wine glasses
© AWMB / Eva Kelety

Noble sweet wines in Austria have a remarkable, extensive history. Already in 1526, the first Trockenbeerenauslese was produced in the Pannonian region. At the von Leisser baronial estate in Donnerskirchen, a large amount of shrunken, raisin-like berries were harvested and pressed to an excellent wine. More than a century later, in 1653, Prince Paul Esterhazy together with Baron von Leisser acquired this same wine and had it refilled into small barrels. Whenever the wine was served – especially at noble festivities – boiled pebbles were added to the barrels so that their contents would once again be full; this was done in order to help prevent the remaining wine from oxidising. The last drops of this wine were tasted at the Burg Forchtenstein castle in 1852: for no less than 326 years, generation after generation of wine lovers were able to experience the pure pleasures of this legendary Prädikatswein.