Archive for the ‘Austrian Wine’ Category

Burgenland – Wine, Haydn and Storks

Burgenland is a place of contrast with the rest of Austria. It is known for its wine, the composer Joseph Haydn, and, yes, storks. Lying east and south of Vienna and bordering Hungary, Burgenland lies at the edge of the relatively hot and dry Pannonian plain, an ancient sea bed.

Sailing on Burgenland's Neusiedlersee on a nice summer's day

Summer's Day On Neusiedlersee

Its prominent feature is the Neusiedlersee, today a major water recreational area for Austrians and especially the Viennese. One can rent boats, go wind surfing, bird watching in this wildlife sactuary, and just enjoy the setting by sitting on an outdoor patio, having a glass of wine and soaking up the scenery.

Although a relatively large lake, some 200 square miles, the Neusiedlersee is very shallow, measuring only 5 feet at its deepest point. Nonetheless it basically controls the micro-climate in the area and contributes to it’s major product – wine, which is proudly served at the local Heuringens (wine bars) and restaurants.

A well known Heuringe in Rust, Burgenland, Austria, where the storks roost

Entrance and Courtyard - Heuringen in Rust

By the way, don’t mistake the Heuringens as just being wine bars, along with the wine, the establishment may serve cold cuts, pastries and frequently, most also serve great home cooked local fare.

Burgenland is also the birthplace and home of Joseph Haydn. The area definitely has music in its blood, with major summer festivals in the town of Mörbish and in St. Margarethen, at an an old Roman Quarry, where you can witness performances such as the passion play, whose cast is all local.

The courtyard in Haydn's birthhouse in Rohrau Austria in Burgnland

Courtyard of Haydn's Birthhouse in Rohrau

Then there is the “Haydnmatineen”, a series of concerts of Haydn music held in Schloss Esterhazy in Eisentstadt, the capital of Burgenland. Schloss Esterhazy was at one time the residence of the aristocratic family that ruled Hungary during the Habsburg dynasty. Nearby and further up the street, is the church dedicated to Haydn and where his body is entombed.

The nearby town of Rust is quite unique in that every spring, dozens of pairs of storks come to roost on the town’s chimney tops to rear the next generation of “baby bringing” storks.

Adjoining houses called Anger in Rust Austria in Burgenland. Note the storks on the flat topped chimneys.

Note The "Anger" Style Houses and The Stork Nests

Another unique feature of Rust and a number of other Burgenland villages is that they were built in the so-called “Anger style” with one house attached to another, so that the entire village would form a court around its main street. In the early days both ends of the street were gated so as to keep out the Turkish raiders.

That's me Andre in the courtyard at a great Heuringe in Rust Austria

Resting my Feet and Enjoying the Local Fare

After some walking around and gawking at the stork comings and going, rest your feet at one of the numerous Heuringens and taste some of the local fare and main product – wine.

P.S. Burgenland′s National Park Neusiedler See is also a birdwatcher′s paradise: it hosts approximately 320 species of birds over the course of a year. There’s quite a lot to see and experience in the small package of Burgenland.

Heurigen – Vienna Wine Taverns

Heurigen – what a treat. Good food, great local wine and a very comfortable down home setting. And please do take your time, no rush to get you out of your seat here.

A typical Heuringe setting in the country side of Vienna Austria

Typical Heurigen Setting


Vienna sits in the heart of Austria’s wine producing region, amidst which you’ll find the Heurigen (also referred to as Heurige, or Heuriger) – Vienna Wine Taverns - an integral part of Vienna’s culture and ambiance and a definite must visit. Stop at a Heurigen, sip one of that establishment’s wines along with some great cold cuts and enjoy this treasure and tradition of Austria and Vienna in specific. Many Heurigens also serve great home cooked food and will have fresh backed pastries, yummm. Definitely not a dieters paradise but, who cares when you’re out to enjoy.

Historically, due to a decree passed in 1784, today there are some 20,000 wine producing estates in Austria; with the majority in the Eastern part of the country and Vienna sits in the middle of it. There are scores of vineyards all around Vienna and nearby are areas such as the Wachau Valley region, which offers up a bounty of vineyards on its hillsides and steep slopes.

View of terraced vineyard taken from the Danube river in the Wachau awew

Vineyard on Slope in Wachau


Visit a wine village or two and not only can you tour a winery but, you can also savor some of the local fare, making it into a truly rich and rewarding Austrian  travel experience.

Vienna and wine, as with Vienna and coffee are inseparable. Vienna is the only world capital producing significant quantities of wine within its city limits. But it is more than just an attraction; it is a defining element of the urban image, and a significant contributor to Vienna’s economic system and to the quality of life of its residents as well as guests and visitors.


One of many Vineyards within the Vienna proper

Vineyard South of Vienna

An especially wine rich area in Vienna encompasses approximately 700 hectares (1,730 acres) and includes the towns of Kahlenberg, Nussberg, Bisamberg and Mauer. Its proximity to the Vienna Woods and the Danube River provides ideal climatic conditions for wine growing. Once a year in the fall, on what is called the “Vienna Wine Hiking Day” (for 2011, the dates are September 24 and 25th), the “Vienna Wine Trail”, is opened to the public. The trail includes two routes, each winding through the vineyards, and offering scenic outlooks of Vienna and the Danube.

Route 1 goes from Neustift am Walde to Nussdorf and winds through an area rich in legendary locations for Viennese wine and Heurigen tavern traditions. One possible stop on this trail is the Wien Cobenzl winery, which won two prizes at the 2008 Vienna Wine Awards.

Route 2 goes from Strebersdorf to the famous Heurigen location of Stammersdorf. The landscape is not the only impressive feature of this 10 kilometer long trail (6.2 miles). The numerous Heurigens along the way offer a pleasant break from the walk. Stop and have a sip or two of the locals’ wine along with some delicious local fare. The Weingut Wieninger is particularly popular and well-known.

The reason the walk is not open at other times is that the trail runs trough private property but, that should not keep you from taking in open parts of the trail or enjoying what the various Heurigens have to offer. Put on your walking shoes and let’s go.

When at a Heurigen, enjoy a glass of Trachen Weiss Wein – local dry white wine. 

Here are the links to maps for Route 1 and Route 2, provided by the city of Vienna.

Learn more about Vienna at Vienna Tourist Attractions. Enjoy!

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