The Viennese Wine Tavern

Heuriger in Grinzing

The Heuriger with its typical "Buschen", the trademark of wine taverns

A special way of consuming wine, the Heuriger, has developed in Vienna due to the vineyards being so close to the city. Visitors will recognise the real Viennese wine tavern from the Buschen, a bunch of pine tree branches, and the sign hanging in front of the vineyard's entrance, which signifies that the vintner is entitled to sell home-made wines. Only vineyards which have harvested their wine in or around Vienna may call themselves Heuriger (that means wine tavern). It is prohibited to add grapes or wine that were bought. Wine taverns, also called Buschenschanken, may be open all year round. It depends on the licence what kind of food may be served, and there must always be a self-service buffet. Wine, however, is served to the tables.

On the one hand Heuriger refers to the wine tavern where wine is served, on the other hand it is the name used for this year's wine. This new wine becomes old wine, called Alter, after November 11, Saint Martin's Day, which means that the new wine which has turned from Most (must) to Sturm (crackling young wine) to Staubiger has matured.

Wine served in wine taverns is usually the so-called Gemischter Satz or blend, which means that different grape varieties are harvested and pressed together and it always depends on the vintner's know-how to achieve a nice blend. Cuvée is the result of the blending of different wines. Today, pure wine varieties are frequently offered. Wine is also increasingly sold in Bouteillen (0,75 litres bottles) or served in 125 milliliter glasses.

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