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Austria - Land of Surprisingly Good Booze

So you thought that Old World wine was all about Spain, Italy and France and that beer was Britain, Belgium and Germany? Well, it's time to think again. Enter Austria, which confounds expectations and rightly deserves to sit at the table for both.

There's no getting away from it, Austrian wine in particular has a bad reputation. Centuries of hard work and brand building foundered in the mid-1980's, when it transpired that certain unscrupulous Austrian vintners were secreting antifreeze into their wine to make it taste better (an episode that's mentioned in the Simpsons). As you might expect, adulterating wine with toxic chemicals rather killed Austria's wine exports, but the industry has faced its demons, got its act together and is now producing some pretty cracking stuff.


Austria's vineyards are located primarily in the flatter bit in the east of the country. One could write about any number of areas, but we'll focus on one and look at the Wachau. This is…

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