Austrian Wine Takeover
For the next two months at Time Market, we will be highlighting one of our preferred, but often under-the-radar, European wine producing countries, Austria.
Let's talk Austria!
Map courtesy of Wine Folly
Austrian Wine at Time Market
Since the inception of Time Market in 1995, we have set ourselves apart by seeking out wines that overdeliver, both on cost and quality. This has been the main driver for our wine collection over the years, introducing you, our customers, to new and exciting wines that are off the beaten path. For this reason, we consistently turned to Austria-where the aromatic, powerfully structured white and rosé wines, and elegant, refined red wines offer you something entirely unique.
And while certain grape varieties may seem difficult to pronounce or rather unfamiliar, like Sankt Laurent, Zweigelt, or Grüner Veltliner, we’ll be breaking them down for you over the next few months, guiding your journey through our wine shelves at Time Market.
Now let’s turn our attention to Austria- home to Mozart, Sigmund Freud, and Gustav Klimt. Over the past few decades, Austria has consistently demonstrated that it is a dominant player in the world wine scene, both in terms of quality and export. Since the 1990's, wine professionals, wine writers, sommeliers, and those in the trade, have turned to Austria for high quality, age worthy white wines, particularly with varieties like Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir.
Throughout May and June, we’ll be highlighting the unique aspects of these regions in upcoming blog posts, on a quest to explore how climate, culture, history and terroir have impacted Austrian viticulture over the centuries, while showcasing the versatile range of wines available here at Time Market.
Brief Historical Overview of Austrian Wine
In the 12th century A.D, varieties like Riesling and Pinot Noir were introduced to the area by Cistercian monks, who recognized the climatic similarities to Clos de Vougeot, in Burgundy. Ever since their fateful arrival, Austria has championed these French grape varieties, and the wines are celebrating enormous success on the world stage.
Demonstrating the impact of religion and wine in Austria, some successful Austrian wineries, like that of Stift Klosterneuberg and Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg date back to the 12th century, and are still operating today as Roman Catholic institutions.
Austria's capital, Vienna (Wien) actually takes its name from its citizens, who were the major consumers of wine (translation: wein) for hundreds of years. Interestingly, Vienna is one of the last remaining major European capitals that boasts vineyards, mainly planted in the northwestern edge of the city.
As you navigate through wine country, the Heuriger, or family-run inns, are cozy, welcoming venues that serve local wines and homemade cuisine, forming the bedrock for Austria's wine culture. These are not fancy, Michelin star restaurants, but rather low-key, inviting establishments that are typically open a few months out of the year.
The Evolution of Austrian wine
Grapes passing on the sorting table
Over the years, winemaking methods, vineyard mechanization techniques, and cellar technologies have vastly improved, leading to an explosion of ambitious, minimal intervention producers who have the awe-inspiring ability to craft magnificent juice.
The real takeaway with Austrian wine is its versatility, transitioning seamlessly from one meal to the next. Spanning from traditional method, hand-riddled Sekt and angular, mineral driven whites, to spicy, earthy reds, and even to lusciously sweet, botrytis dessert wines, Austrian wine has never been a stranger to our wine shelves at Time Market.
Riesling on the vine
If you’re in the neighborhood, pop by our bar at Time Market. We’ll be pouring refreshing summer-ready Austrian wines by the glass throughout the months of May and June.