Heuriger Taverns around Vienna
The Viennese like their traditions whether drinking coffee, going to the opera, listening to Strauss – or visiting a 'Heuriger', of which there are hundreds within the city limits.
Wine-making was introduced here by the Romans so the locals have had years of practice and now produce some quite tasty white wines which you can best test at a 'Heuriger' tavern.
The name roughly means 'of today' and refers to the new wine and it all dates back to the 18th C. when Josef II decreed that wine producers be allowed to sell their own wine to the general public.
Technically speaking the taverns should only be open in summer/autumn for a few weeks until the new wine is finished, but this cottage industry proved so popular that now some premises are open much longer (up to 300 days is allowed) – but to be a 'Heuriger' they still have to sell only their own wine, new or otherwise.
The best known district in Vienna for the 'Heuriger' taverns is probably Grinzing which has an almost village atmosphere to it with century old buildings, pretty gardens and vineyards – and lots of people it has to be said.
It's great if you like your evenings lively with the whole wine, women & song routine, if however you prefer something more relaxing, try nearby Nussdorf, also within the city limits, for a more authentic feel and maybe more locals than tourists.
And it's not just about grapes, the law was amended in the 19th C and a 'Heuriger' can now sell food (technically also their own produce) so you can go there later afternoon for something to eat and prolong the whole enjoyable experience!
Just be careful to look out for the pine/fir branch hanging outside to make sure you're in the right type of place and not just any old tavern.
And make sure you have enough money with you to cover the tips for the 'Schrammel' musicians who might be there wandering from table to table to entertain with their violins and accordions. All part of the tradition!