I recently visited the Austrian capital, and had but one goal in mind: to find (and consume) all the best wine in Vienna. I wanted to try all the local wines (and decide which ones to bring home to the wine club), visit a bunch of wine bars to find my favourite (and find ones to share with you), and go wine tasting, of course. If you, like me, love your wine and want to explore Viennese wine whilst in Vienna, I hope this post is of help to you!
During my trip, I made sure to visit as many wine bars as possible, did lots of research on local wine and wine tastings in Vienna, and ended up with a pretty decent list of wines to try and places to go. Of course, I did my best to sample all the wine varieties I could find out about, so I can share them with you here! A little further down the post you will also find my list of the best places to drink (wine) in Vienna, as well as where to go for wine tastings.
Considering how much I love wine, and the fact that I have a wine club back home in Bergen, you’d think I wrote posts like these more often – and I definitely think I should! I had so much fun researching.
Wine in Vienna: Local wines to try
I first discovered my love for wine in Italy, and have since been lucky enough to try some amazing wines on all my travels. Vienna was no exception.
Now, first things first. Which grape varieties and wines do you have to try whilst in Vienna (or Austria)?
There are a few grape varieties that are local to Austria and the region around Vienna, and you have to make sure to try them whilst in the city. These are Grüner Veltliner and the Welshriesling for white wine, and Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt for red. Grüner Veltliner are the most well-known wine grape of Austrian and Vienna, and are a must when visiting the many wine bars around the city.
Of course, international grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc (also known as Weissburgunder), Pinot Noir and Cabernet all grown in Austria as well, but the ones I have mentioned above are specifically Austrian grapes.
Wine bars and where to drink
Of course, when you are in Vienna you want to visit as many wine bars as you can – and the city has a lot to offer. Therefore, I wanted to make a list of my favourite bars and places to drink that I found whilst in Vienna! Some of these are specific wine bars (the first one is actually the smallest wine bar in Vienna – and my favourite!), whilst others are “just” bars or pubs with really good wine. Some also serve food, and are a great place to grab lunch whilst also sampling some Viennese wines.
In addition to the wine bars I’ve listed below, Vienna has some great coffee houses and cafes as well.
#1 Vis-a-Vis Weinbar
Address: Wollzeile 5
Down a small alleyway you will find a hole in the wall that you might miss if you don’t know to look for it. Vis-a-vis is a tiny wine bar with lots of local wines available, extremely friendly owners (who only barely speak English, and we had a great time getting by with my limited German and their limited English), and a cool, sophisticated vibe. The bar only has 3-4 high-top tables, and max 8-10 seats. If you score the window table you can sit and look out onto the small alleyway as you listen to their jazzy music and sample some great wine. Honestly, this was my favourite wine bar in Vienna, and I highly recommend that you go!
#2 Cafe Savoy
Address: Linke Wienzeile 36
We stumbled upon the Cafe Savoy on our walk back to the city center from Schloss Schönbrunn, and it turned out we were in luck. This looked like just your ordinary street-side cafe from the outside, but on the inside you quickly realise that this is a historic place. We also quickly got the vibe that this was an LGBTQ+-friendly bar, which we appreciated.
The cafe itself dates back to 1897, and was originally named Café Wienzeile. Inside, you will find a large, impressive chandelier made by a Danish architect Theophil von Hansen, and two mirrors facing each other said to be Europe’s largest mirrors formed from just one piece, after the ones in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles.
In terms of what to drink here, wine is the obvious option. They serve Grüner Veltliner by the glass and by the caraffe as their house wine, at a very reasonable price (around €2.5 per glass when I visited).
#3 Gloriette Cafe
Address: Schlosspark, Schönbrunn Palace Park
The Gloriette at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna is worth a visit just for the views of the palace grounds and city alone, but don’t miss out on the cafe whilst you’re there. It is said that Emperor Franz Joseph himself loved to have his breakfast in the Gloriette, and how can you miss out on a chance of a glass of wine in such imperial settings?
At the Gloriette Cafe you can grab a light snack in between exploring the palace and palace grounds, and of course try some local wine! During our visit they had both Grüner Veltliner and Welshriesling – and of course we had them both.
Tip: you don’t have to get a ticket to the Gloriette to visit the Cafe, as it has a separate entrance from where ticket holders would go to look at the views.
If you are visiting the Gloriette and Schönbrunn palace, my advice is to get tickets in advance (so you can skip the line). You can book your ticket here! When getting your tickets you may have to select a time for when you have to arrive at the palace itself (for the tour), but you can visit the gardens and the Gloriette at any time.
#4 The First American Bar
Address: Schulerstraße 16
I am going to be completely honest and say that I am not only recommending this bar for the wine choices. Actually, they have a large and extensive cocktail list. We found it as we were looking for a spot for some after-dinner drinks, and their neon “cocktail” sign over the door caught our attention. Their martini was great, and so I ended up having three (obviously). The atmosphere here was almost like a speakeasy, with the room itself being mainly lit by candles on each table. If you want an intimate and cozy place to drink in Vienna, this is it.
(Whether they are the first American bar in the city or not, I do not know.)
#5 Mocarello Caffé & Bar
Address: Wollzeile 1/3
Mocarello was the first place I tried Grüner Veltliner on my trip to Vienna, so it is a place I will not forget. I sat in their window, which was open completely due to the hot day, and looked at the people passing by as I sipped my Austrian wine. This was such a lovely way to spend my afternoon waiting for the rest of my travel party to arrive. It also gave me time to do some reading, as I was deep-diving into Vienna and Austria’s imperial history with this book about Empress Sisi.
#6 Zwölf Apostelkeller
Address: Sonnenfelsgasse 3
This interesting place takes you underground into a cellar that may (or may not) date back to the 1100s. It was first mentioned in city documents in 1339, so we know for sure it’s that old. The cellar has been turned into a restaurant, and in addition to serving traditional Austrian food, they also have a selection of wines for you to try including their own variety (which I’ll honestly admit was not my favourite).
When we walked down into the cellar, my first thought was that it looks like Pinocchio’s Village Haus in Disney World, which might be a little off. In short, it feels very alpine, and like you are in a central European fairy tale. Definitely a place to add to your list of where to drink wine in Vienna, and especially if you like unique locations.
Address: Lindengasse 1
Three sommeliers work at the stylish R&Bar, and one of them (Stephan Martin) specialise in biodynamic and natural wines. They have wines from all over the world here, but of course also a great selection of Austrian and Viennese wines. Definitely a place to go for anyone who loves natural wines.
#8 Kleines Cafe
Address: Franziskanerpl. 3
This place charmed us with its location and its outdoor seating at the picturesque Franziskanerplatz. This is a cute little square with a fountain (the Moses Fountain) and a church, and of course cobblestones wherever you turn. It turns out, that this place also has really great music, a lovely (and relaxed) staff and great wine that doesn’t cost your shirt (we paid €2,9 per glass of Grüner Veltliner during our visit – and ended up having time for quite a few!). We also learned that it was the set of the movie Before Sunrise from 1995, starring Ethan Hawke, and that the exterior of the Kleines Cafe hasn’t changed much since – making it a popular cafe for fans of the movie.
Whether you had heard of the movie or not (I hadn’t), Kleines Cafe is the perfect spot to relax with a sneaky beverage in Vienna.
#9 Cafe Sacher
Address: Philharmoniker Str. 4
Cafe Sacher at the famous Sacher Hotel in Vienna is well-known for being the birth-place for the Sacher-Torte (a dark, rich chocolate cake and one of the dishes you must try in Vienna). Due to its popularity, there is usually a line outside to get a seat, and I’m here to tell you that if you are up for waiting a little while (we waited no more than 10 minutes) for the cake, you will also find that this is a great place to sample some Viennese sparkling wine. Additionally, they serve the alcoholic Maria-Theresia Coffee, which is coffee, whipped cream and orange liqueur.
#10 Pfiff & Co
Address: Kärntner Str. 10
Pfiff & Co is what I would refer to as a “brown pub”, but my British friends just shook their head when I used this expression to describe it. Basically, it is a cozy, old-fashioned pub with a relaxed atmosphere – giving a hole-in-the-wall feeling due to it’s narrow shape. Here, we enjoyed a laugh and a few glasses of wine in wait for the rain to pass, and it was a perfect rest stop during the day. Find it just a stone’s throw from the busy Stephansplatz, which makes it a nice and surprising break from the crowds.
#11 Reserva Ibérica
Address: Wallnerstraße 5
I know this post is all about wine in Vienna and where to drink it, so I’m gonna give you a recommendation that I am really excited to have found: Reserva Ibérica is a tapas bar, where they make really yummy sangria with Austrian wines! On a hot day there’s nothing like an ice cold white sangria, and here you can have a jug of it – knowing that it was made with Viennese grape varieties (mainly Grüner veltliner)! In addition they have a small tapas menu which makes for the perfect midday snack.
Wine tastings and wine tours in Vienna
With so many great wines to try, you may be looking for a proper wine tasting or tour whilst in the Austrian capital. Well, so did I! Below are a couple of wine tours and tastings you should definitely keep in mind for your trip to Vienna!
Schlumberger Sparkling Wine (formerly champagne)
Address: Heiligenstädter Str. 39
Schlumberger makes sparkling wine according to the traditional methods that are also used to make champagne. Their wine-making traditions date back to the 1800s, and up until 1919 their wines were known as Schlumberger Champagne. But, as we all know, since then only sparkling wines made *in* Champagne, France are allowed to use the name. Nevertheless, Schlumberger makes high-quality sparkling wine in a selection of varieties, and visiting their cellar in Vienna is a must. It is actually the oldest champagne cellar in the city!
When you arrive, you are given several tasting options, all of which include a 45 minute tour with an audio guide. The tour was interesting, and you are taken through their labyrinths of cellars below Vienna. After the tour (which you can pace entirely as you pleace), it’s time for the sparkling wine tasting! As mentioned, you can choose between several options here, the cheapest tour and tasting costing only €11 (and includes one glass of sparkling wine).
I recommend option for 3 glasses to taste, and prices range from €16-20, depending on which type of sparkling wine you want. Emily and I opted for the Rosé Tasting and the Connaisseur Tasting, which cost €18 and €20 respectively. Since the tour is the same, we then got to sample more of the sparkling wines than if we had chosen the same package.
The Weinviertel Wine Region
Outside of the Vienna city center (around a 30-minute drive) you will find the Weinviertel wine region. Now obviously you don’t want to rent a car and drive there yourself, because how would you then sample all the wine? So, I recommend opting for a half-day trip with a guide. During this 5,5 hour excursion you will visit several local wineries and vineyards, learn about their wines, and of course sample a few of them. This tour includes a hotel pick up, so you don’t have to worry about getting to the meeting point (as long as you are staying relatively central).
Other wine tastings/tours in Vienna
- Wine Tasting Experience in Hidden Cellars (from €89, approximately 2 hours)
- Wine Tasting in a Historic Roman Cellar (from €29, approximately 45 minutes)
- Vienna City Walk and Wine Tasting (from €65, approximately 3 hours)
- Wine Tasting and eBike Tour (from €74, approximately 4 hours)
There you have some of my favourite places to drink (wine) in Vienna, Austria, and I hope you will love some of these bars and pubs as much as I did! I hope to be back in Vienna soon to have more of their Viennese wines, and perhaps join a couple more of the wine tours (I am eyeing the Wachau Valley next)!