A land of castles, palaces and picturesque villages, in the heart of Central Europe, Austria offers elegant, fine wines and distinctive regional culinary specialties. No wonder that American travel agents chose the country as “Europe’s Best Wine Travel Destination” in 2016.
Based around the capital itself, Wien with its numerous heurige (local wine taverns), has a thriving wine culture. South-East towards the border with Hungary lies Leithaberg, Burgenland and Steiermark, which, as a relatively warm region, produces wonderful, opulent reds. North-West of the capital is Neiderosterreich including Wagram, Wachau and Kremstal where elegant, whites abound.
Austria’s king of whites, its calling card, Gruner Veltliner, with its distinctive stone-fruit, herbaceous and white pepper character. Other local whites include Neuberger, Muskateller and Rotgipfler, and ‘international’ varieties are represented by Riesling, Sauvignon and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc). Main local reds are Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch and Sankt Laurent; and ‘international’ varieties Pinot Noir (Blauburgunder), Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Nikolaihof winery can trace their history back 2000 years to Romain times. It was also one of the very first wineries in the world to be certified as Biodynamic by Demeter Association.
PAST TOURS IN AUSTRIA
For our first vinous adventure to Central Europe we headed to Austria where we were introduced to the delights of indigenous grapes like Gruner Veltliner, Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt. After an excellent presentation at the Wine Academy we visited several high quality boutique producers in the regions of Neusiedlersee, Kremstal and Wachau. We stayed in the pretty towns of Rust and Krems. And we visited the baroque marvel Ersteharzy Palace and its Wine Museum, enjoyed the Erste Lage tasting in the fabulous surroundings of Grafenegg Castle, and a took a boat ride on the River Danube marvelling at the terraced vineyards. What an exceptionally interesting and varied tour!