WineHandpicked by IWSC

Award-winning Austrian wine

From zesty examples of the country's signature Grüner Veltliner to a stand-out Blaufränkisch red, discover the best Austrian wine from the IWSC 2022

Words by IWSC Judges

Gruner Veltliner vines in Austria
Handpicked by IWSC

Austria is one of the most consistently reliable wine countries, delivering beautifully clean, fresh whites time and again, as well as supple, soft, elegant reds. So, it’s something of a surprise to learn that Austrian wine still lags behind the big guns of Europe. Times are changing, however, and wine drinkers are beginning to realise the potential of this underrated country.

The national grape of Austria is, without doubt, Grüner Veltliner, which accounts for three out of every 10 vines planted. The two classic flavours associated with the grape are grapefruit and white pepper, which not only gives whites made with Grüner a racy zestiness, it also makes them incredibly food-friendly, ideal to cut through the richness of a schnitzel or potato salad, or something a little spicier.

However, while the top-scoring Austrian wine at the IWSC this year was a Grüner Veltliner, it was actually an orange wine made by the grape by Domäne Baumgartner. It impressed judges with its ‘racing acidity’ and ‘layers of ripe stone fruit, baked pineapple and a peppery spice,’ scoring 96/100 and earning a Gold medal.

wachau wine region in austria
The Wachau wine region in Austria is also a UNESCO world heritage site

A top-performing Chardonnay from Weingut Johann Schneeberger earned a further Gold medal for Austria, the wine scoring 95/100 for its notes of ‘perfumed peaches, guava, acacia and honey with nicely vibrant fruit and acidic-balanced lemon and lime.’

Austria is starting to make waves with its reds too, with one standout example appearing on this list – a Blaufränkisch from Weingut Migsich scoring 90/100 and gaining praise for its ‘elegant nose of ripe black plums.’

Every Austrian wine at this year’s IWSC was tasted blind by some of the best palates in the industry, led by Sarah Abbott MW. She was assisted by fellow Master of Wine Barbara Drew, along with wine buyer for Waitrose Marien Rodriguez and London wine bar owner Sunny Hodge.

If you’re bored of the same old Sauvignons and Pinot Grigios, Austria is the first country you should consider. The overall standard is incredibly high, and you may find you have a new favourite grape variety. Here is the pick of the best Austrian wines from the IWSC 2022.

austrian wine bottles


We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.


Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.


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