Austria is, by world standards, a very small wine producing nation, with only some 1% of world output. Wine has been made here for at least 3,000 years, and today Austria produces world-class dry white wines which are widely praised by the wine press the world over. There are also serious reds being made by talented growers who take their lead from Burgundy and Bordeaux, and some of the best sweet wines on earth. Austria has its own range of unique grape varietals, and these will be found in all these styles of wine. With high demand at home (average annual consumption is 33 litres/head), and limited prduction, not much gets exported. Austria is a wine country of great originality and its own unique wine culture like no other on earth, influenced largely by tavern culture in which wine-making families make a wide range of wines for sale to customers. Are Austrian wines the world's best-kept wine secret? Maybe they have been, but this is starting to change. The active state-funded Austrian Wine Marketing Board promotes Austrian wines the world over, and exports are rising. Yet Austrian wines remain hardly well-known in the UK; time to try them, I think.