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 Filed as : Regional SpotlightAustria

All About Austria

Jul 15, 2011
All About Austria
The Wachau region is beautiful, accessible and perfect for a wine-geared getaway.

Wachau, AustriaWe forgive you if the only thing you know about Austria is that it's the home of Mozart and Red Bull. But if you have any interest in wine, it's worth expanding your knowledge of Austria--and after a few bottles you might be inspired enough to make a visit to the country. You won't be disappointed.

One of the best regions to visit is the Wachau, in Lower Austria (Niederosterreich). It's a beautiful slice of the country, characterized by steep terraces than run along the Danube River between the towns of Melk and Krems. The vineyards here produce outstanding white wines. Most are ready to drink upon release, but many are can also be aged and enjoyed over 2 decades.

Two wineries in the Wachau that aren't to be missed are Domäne Wachau and Hogl. Domäne Wachau is a cooperation of 250 growers, each with family-owned and -run plots. A short climb up the steep terraces gives you a true sense of the terrain and unique climate that characterize this place--as well as all the hard, hands-on work required to grow grapes here. Domäne Wachau also has a gorgeous baroque castle, a perfect place to pause for a glass of wine while you drink in the view.

Just down the river is Hogl, a perfect example of how a small distance can mean all the difference in climate. In addition to fantastic wines, this estate produces tasty apricot schnapps and nut brandy.

After visiting the wineries, sit down for some sustenance the warm, comfortable and stylish Jamek, by far the best place to eat in the Wachau region. The terrace off the dining room overlooks the Danube and the vineyards. The cuisine is delicious and traditional; you feel like you are dining in the home of a local family.

The best way to see the entire region is to ride a bike ride all along the Danube, or take a boat ride up the river. Either way, you get to be near the water, stop off at small beaches every so often, and simply enjoy the majestic beauty of the region.

Ever been to Austria? Tell us below.

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