Here come the stars of the Austrian white wine scene: premium whites with good ageing potential – outstanding terroir wines with international acclaim.
While the range of grape varieties used for these is equally as wide, the top wines are produced from Grüner Veltliner and Riesling grapes grown on a specific Ried (single vineyard), e.g. Smaragd wines from Wachau Rieds, and outstanding Reserve wines from the regions along the Danube, as well as from the Weinviertel.
Particularly distinct characters can be found among the powerful Zierfandler and Rotgipfler wines from the Thermenregion, as well as complex Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay wines from Burgenland, such as those from Leithaberg. Last but not least, this category also includes premium Riedenwein (single-vineyard wines) from Steiermark (essentially Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot varieties), as well as specialities such as Neuburger, Roter Veltliner and powerful Gemischter Satz wines from the Wien region.
All of these wines are dry, with discernible body, extract, concentration and depth. Although the classic élevage is in the majority here, there are also a number of wines matured in small oak casks that enjoy international standing. The ways in which these wines can be paired with food are as diverse as the wines themselves. While they suit veal, rabbit and poultry dishes and a wide variety of fish with rich sauces, they also go perfectly with traditional Viennese cuisine like Tafelspitz (a succulent boiled beef dish), Schweinsbraten (crispy, fragrant roast pork) and, of course, traditional Wiener Schnitzel. Wines with wood notes go equally well with modern Asian dishes as they do with seafood, such as crayfish, lobster and scallops – and also provide a good match for sauces with complex flavours.