Until recently, wines from Wien, or the wine-growing region of Vienna, Austria's capital city, were regarded as being simple 'Heuriger', or wine tavern wines. Nowadays, they enjoy cult status and are listed in gourmet restaurants. This paradigm shift is thanks to a small number of forward thinking producers, who revived the traditional Viennese wine blend, the 'Wiener Gemischte Satz', which is now internationally acknowledged as being a truly Austrian wine. The significance of Wiener Gemischter Satz as the showpiece of Vienna's wine sector combined with the strong desire for a protected designation of origin convinced the Regional Wine Committee of Vienna to apply for DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus) status for the wine. With this, Wiener Gemischter Satz became Austria's ninth DAC designation of origin. The first Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC wines to be released are from the 2013 vintage.
The Wachau is a UNESCO world heritage site and region of natural beauty, and lies in the Danube valley between the towns of Melk and Krems. The varieties Grüner Veltliner and Riesling prevail on 1,350 hectares, partly on very steep-inclined terraces. The best vineyard sites produce some of the best white wine in the world with decades of aging potential.
Niederösterreich is Austria's largest quality-wine-growing area. This designation stands for a big variety of different wine styles of international and indigenous grape varieties with Grüner Veltliner covering 44%. There are eight specific wine-growing regions in Niederösterreich, stretching from the Wachau in the west to Carnuntum in the east. These can be divided into three major climatic zones: the Weinviertel in the north, the region along the river Danube, with its adjoining valleys to the west of Vienna, and the warmer Pannonian part in the south-east of Niederösterreich.
The Thermenregion wine-growing region was formed as part of the 1985 wine law, when the districts of Gumpoldskirchen and Bad Vöslau were amalgamated. The 2,196 hectares of vines stretch from the edge of the Wienerwald forests, around the outskirts of Vienna and southwards along a range of hills and the Anninger mountain (675m) to beyond the town of Baden. In the northern part, around the village of Gumpoldskirchen, white wine thrives with the indigenous Zierfandler (or Spätrot) and Rotgipfler varieties, whereas red wines produced from Sankt Laurent and Pinot Noir are predominant in the more southerly vineyards.