Austria has had a long history of vine growing dating back to 700 BC - its continental climate with extremely cold winters and hot summers helps to produce a very diverse range of wines. There are four recognised regions where wine can be produced. The majority of wine comes from the area surrounding the Danube Plain in the north eastern part of the country called Niederösterreich (Lower Austria). From here around sixty percent of wine is made, with a large proportion of production going towards dry white wines with a lot of Grüner Veltliner, Müller-Thurgau and Welschriesling plantings. This area includes eight sub regions, of which Weinviertel is the biggest and Wachau is one of the most prestigious and best known for its production of Rieslings. Burgenland is also to the east of the country but (confusingly) below Lower Austria. This area renowned for making very high quality reds from Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt, as well as dessert wines from botrytis-infested Sauvignon Blanc, and Welschriesling Eiswein.
The two other areas are Steierland and Wien which together produce the remaining 10% of the 2.5 million hl produced in Austria each year. Around 30% of this is Grüner Veltliner. Of recent vintages 2006 and 09 were both exceptional.