The story of Austrian wine is truly a tale of ups and downs. Up until the mid 80's, Austrian wine was considered amongst the best in the world with sweet and dry wines, which rivaled the great wines of Germany and Bordeaux being produced year after year. This was until the "antifreeze scandal" of 1985 in which some producers were found to be artificially sweetening their wines with diethylene glycol, an ingredient in antifreeze.Read More
This had a terrible effect on the industry with 27 million litres of wine having to be destroyed and it has taken many years for Austrian wine to be taken seriously once more. Today, Austria is close to regaining its international reputation and produces five times more wine than New Zealand but little is seen over here. This is because most of what they do not drink themselves is snapped up by the Germans. What little we do see, however, is steadily increasing and should be sought out with vigour. Grüner Veltliner is often compared to Gewürztraminer due to its full body and spicy finish. The reds are unique and ever improving with traditional indigenous varieties such as Zweigelt reallty coming to the fore. Austria has spent thousands of years perfecting wines that are appearing ready for discovery.