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Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Wien is how the natives of Vienna refer to the austrian capital and the official wine-growing region it comprises. Vienna serves as an axis between Danubian growing regions, nowadays dominated by Grüner Veltliner but also starring Riesling, and those regions more strongly influenced by the warmth of the Pannonian-Hungarian Plain and significantly planted with red wine grapes. Just under a quarter of the metropolis’s roughly 700 ha/1,700 acres of vines are dark-skinned. Red wine production dominates the two important viticultural neighbourhoods on Vienna’s southern fringe, Oberlaa and Mauer (abutting the thermenregion), which feature Zweigelt, Pinot Noir (Blauburgunder), and smaller contingents of diverse other red wine grapes. The reputation of Vienna as an important wine-growing region, however, rests on Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, less prominently Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder), along with white-grape-dominated gemischter satz. Although these old field blends have shrunk to a mere 11–12% of the city’s vineyard area, they represent a distinctive contribution to its wine-growing and drinking culture, and provide the basis for the relatively recent Wiener Gemischter Satz dac (see below). Nearly all of these field blends are dominated by or consist exclusively of white wine grapes, with older vineyards generally incorporating significant shares of Grüner Veltliner as well as vaguely Burgundian varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Neuburger. Riesling, Rotgipfler, Silvaner, Traminer, Welschriesling, Zierfandler, and unidentified vines are also frequently found.