Many people think that the Buschenschank or Heurigen is an “ancient” institution. That is not entirely correct. Until the reign of Emperor Josef II the idea of unregulated trades was frowned upon. The right to sell wine by the glass was initially held only by the parish priest, the hospital, a few vintner guilds, and the citizens, i.e. those inhabitants that owned their own home. The principle that every imperial subject was allowed to sell the wine he produced in small quantities or serve it by the glass was first mentioned in two imperial decrees from 1784 and 1785. In the Vormärz era (early 19th century) the Heurigen trade as it is known today slowly developed, particularly in the surroundings of Vienna.
The term Heuriger stands not just for the new wine from the most recent harvest – only as of St. Martin’s Day (11 November) of the following year does it become the “old” wine – but in addition denotes the place where it is on sale by the glass or bottle from the winegrower.
At the Heurigen, tradition and a sense of timelessness culminate in the sensuous enjoyment of food and drink and a zest for life. (Bartel F. Sinhuber)
A bundle of fir twigs hanging from a pole marks the places with cosy indoor and/or outdoor seating where the winegrowers sell and serve their own wine and hungry guests can choose from scrumptious buffets. Wherever the green sprig beckons, the Biedermeier enjoyment of life is still alive. Green gardens, secluded courtyards and tastefully decorated interiors offer ample opportunity for relaxed musings on life over a glass of wine by yourself or chatting and laughing in a happy circle of friends. In all its diverse forms and appearances, the Heurigen is a place of encounter typical of Vienna and its surrounding region.
For more Information
Information on which Heurige are open at any given time (ausg’steckt is the local word for it)
At the InfoCenter
(Phone +431866 83-400)
you will find the printed calendar (Heurigenkalender) with all pertinent information