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.



In participation with Austrian Wines USA, we will be promoting our love of Austrian wine, by delving deep into the country’s wine traditions, grape varieties, history, food and wine pairings, and wine styles. Our main objective is to introduce you to the enormous catalogue of Austrian wine available at Time Market, while having some fun along the way.
Over the next few months, you can expect to learn all about the versatility of Austrian wine and our history of selling these wines here in Tucson, Arizona.





Let's talk Austria!


Austrian Wine Map

 Map courtesy of Wine Folly


Smack in the center of Europe, you’ll find the land-locked country of Austria, a haven for artisanal, elegant wines that are an honest reflection of their magnificent, diverse landscape. From the mountainous, glacial expanse of the west, near Süd-Tirol, to the sprawling, terraced hillsides that snake along the Danube to the north and east, Austria is a wine producing country that harnesses an immense viticultural prowess.

Austrian Wine at Time Market


Malat wines at Time Market 
Malat Wines available at Time Market





Now, if you’ve strolled our aisles at Time Market in Tucson before, you may have noticed that we have a tendency to gravitate towards European wine. It’s in our blood!
And while our adoration (obsession?) for French and Italian wines run deep, we have always had a soft spot in our heart for Austria.

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.


Austrian Wine

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.


Vineyards at Pfaffl, Weinviertel
Tour of Weingut Pfaffl, Weinviertel, Austria
With current statistics peaking at 66 million gallons of wine produced per year, Austria is comprised of fourteen distinct wine regions, each unique in terms of their geography, climate, and terroir. Over 90% of the wine is produced in the eastern half of the country, with the more prestigious sites nestled along the Danube River.



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


Gaisburg, Kremstal - credit - Austrian Wine/WSNA
Gaisburg, Kremstal - credit - Austrian Wine/WSNA
For centuries, vineyards have dotted the pristine Austrian landscape, and wine has played an impactful role in Austrian commerce, culture, and everyday life. Historical records and documents dating back to the 2nd century A.D. prove that the Romans were, in fact, the viticultural pioneers in the region, augmenting what had already been started by the Celts.


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. 


Despite the political and socioeconomic circumstances of the Austrian Empire, World Wars I and II, and the notorious 1985 diethylene glycol scandal that rocked the Austrian wine industry, wine has continued to play a major role in Austrian life.



Austrian Wine Statistics- courtesy of Austrian Wine
Austrian Wine Export Statistics- courtesy of Austrian Wine

Since the mid 1980's, winemakers have upped their game, proving to be daring and strategic, catapulting the popularity of Austrian wine throughout the world. In fact, according to Austrian Wine USA, 2021 captured the highest export growth of Austrian wine to date.


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


Each week we will be delving a little deeper into the world of Austrian wine, from its history, geography, grape varieties, and wine laws, to how these wines can be enjoyed here in Tucson, Arizona! Additionally, we’ll be providing online tasting videos featuring select wineries that we’ve worked with over the years that will offer a bit more background into Austrian wine.



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.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.