Important Austrian Wine Grapes – Quick Summary


Important White Grapes (in alphabetical order):

Grüner Veltliner

  • Austria’s most significant white grape and the most planted grape variety in the country with almost 68% of vineyard area planted (2021 statistics).
  • Most heavily planted in Niederösterreich and northern Burgenland.
  • Produces all quality levels from light wines with good acidity to the highly ripe Prädikatswein.
  • Mostly known to be spicy and peppery with notes of stone fruit.
  • achieved international recognition and popularity at the end of the 20th century.
  • Click here to see Austrian Grüner Veltliner at the LCBO.
Grüner Veltliner © Austrian Wine / WSNA


  • world-renowned variety – known as the king of white wines.
  • very important in the wine-growing regions along the Danube River and its tributaries.
  • young Riesling exude charming fruitiness and flavour and can develop into great and complex wines through ageing – stone fruit (peach, apricot, etc). Sometimes notes of petrol can be found on aged versions.
  • wines from Wachau, Kremstal, Kamptal and Traisental have a minerality reminiscent of slate or flint.
  • when late harvest wines are infected with noble rot they can produce Auslese and Beerenauslese styles with outstanding quality.
  • Click here to see Austrian Riesling at the LCBO.

Roter Veltliner

  • predominantly grown in Wagram.
  • High-yielding variety – yield management needed to achieve high quality and can create elegant wines with fine, spicy aromas and good ageing potential.

Sauvignon Blanc

  • introduced in Steiermark in the 19th century and is now the most planted white grape in that region.
  • produces outstanding wine with great ageing potential in Steiermark, Burgenland and Niederösterreich.
  • unripe grapes can produce a grassy characteristic but when grapes have a good level of ripeness, they can develop complex aromas of gooseberries and tropical fruit.
  • Click here to see Austrian Sauvignon Blanc at the LCBO.


  • there are 3 Traminer varieties in Austria – Roter Traminer, Gelber Traminer and Gewürztraminer.
  • cultivated all over the Austrian wine regions, particularly in the Vulkanland.
  • low in acidity yet rich in extract – aromas of roses, citrus, wild strawberry, raisin and dried fruit.
  • Prädikatswein often has some residual sweetness.
  • can have excellent ageing potential.

Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc, Klevner)

  • youngest member of the Pinot family.
  • delicate, often restrained bouquet and soft acidity.
  • grown almost everywhere in Austria.


  • third most planted grape variety in all of Austria after Grüner Veltliner and Zweigelt. (2021 statistics)
  • can produce all quality levels and very good for sparkling wine.
  • dry Welschriesling has generous acidity and fresh aromas of green apples and citrus.
  • Prädikatswein made with this variety are considered to be some of the world’s greatest sweet wine. Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese have exotic fruit aromas and delicate notes of honey and characteristic acidity.

Important Red Grapes (in alphabetical order):

Blaufränkisch (known as Kékfrankos in Hungary)

  • most important variety in Mittelburgenland (the region is also known as Blaufränkischland) and a key grape in Eisenberg, Leithaberg and Carnuntum.
  • primarily found in the regions of Burgenland (where it is the most planted red grape variety) and the eastern areas of Niederösterreich.
  • notes of wild berries or cherries with good acidity.
  • can yield outstanding wines with dense structure and prominent tannins.

Blauer Wildbacher

  • the most planted red variety in Steiermark.
  • a relative of Blaufränkisch and is native to Westeiermark where it is made into Schilcher rosé wine. Only Blauer Wildbacher from Steiermark is permitted for the production of Schilcher rosé.

Pinot Noir

  • can be found in nearly all Austrian wine-growing regions.
  • from optimal sites with high ripeness and skilled vinification can produce high quality wines.
  • aromas of red berries, forest soil and dried plums.

Sankt Laurent (Saint Laurent, St. Laurent)

  • belongs to the Pinot family and is a parent of Zwiegelt (along with Blaufränkisch).
  • found mainly in Thermenregion and in northern Burgenland.
  • dark, dense and fruity red wines.
  • high quality and cellar well.


  • most widespread red grape in Austria and second most planted grape variety (both red and white) after Grüner Veltliner – grown in all wine-growing regions.
  • crossing between Blaufränkisch and Saint Laurent created in 1922.
  • many styles from young to more mature – can be aged in barriques or with no use of wood at all.
  • Purplish-reddish in colour – bright fruity flavour – red and black fruit, cinnamon, pepper.
  • fully ripe grapes produce full-bodied wines with aromas of morello cherry and good longevity.
  • Click here to see Austrian Zweigelt available at the LCBO.
Zweigelt © Austrian Wine / WSNA

Links to Austrian wines:

Note: these wines may be VINTAGES releases, General List, Online, or at the Central Europe Destination Store (Dundas & Mavis in Mississauga).

Note: these wines are available for purchase by the case from the agent.

This feature was commissioned by Austrian Wine Marketing Board. As a regular feature, WineAlign tastes wines submitted by a single winery, agent or region. Our writers independently, as always, taste, review and rate the wines — good, bad and indifferent, and those reviews are posted on WineAlign. We then independently recommend wines to appear in the article. Wineries, wine agents, or regions pay for this service. Ads for some wines may appear at the same time, but the decision on which wines to put forward in our report, and its content, is entirely up to WineAlign.