And, amidst the famous vineyards, they gather for the ritual of tasting the new wine. The uniquely Viennese institution of the Heurige is two things: it’s a young wine, and a place to drink it. A long time ago, when the Habsburg Emperors allowed Vienna's vintners sell their young wine tax-free, several hundred families opened up these wine-garden eateries clustered around the edge of town — and a tradition was born. Today, there are more than 1,700 acres of vineyards within Vienna's city limits, and countless Heurige. Many locals claim that it takes several years of practice to distinguish between the young Heurige wine and vinegar.