Sunday, October 28, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

When you don't carry a watch

Clock on Schönbrunn Palace



You know you're in Vienna when... you don't have to carry a watch to know the time.  Why?  Vienna has a clock on every block!

Clocks around Vienna


When it comes to the love of time instruments, the Swiss have nothing on the Austrians .  Street corners, bus and tram stops, historic buildings, and especially churches are adorned with clocks.

Church clocks


If you're not a clock watcher, no worries!  Just listen.  Most clock bells ring on the hour, the quarter hour, and the half hour.  Time to go...


Links to You Know You're in Vienna When:

Introducing You Know You're in Vienna When
When excellent wines are but an hour away
When sturm is on the menu
When Turkenschanz turns crimson and gold
When dinkel's in your bread
When there's beauty in a regentag
When you've got the Gluhwein boost
When it's Silvester

Monday, October 15, 2012

When sturm is on the menu

It's on the menu!



You know you're in Vienna when... it's harvest time and sturm is on the menu.  Sturm is partially fermented grape juice, and I must admit, it is delicious!  It is slightly sweet and a bit bubbly.

Clockwise from lower left: the harvest, sturm advert, rot sturm, weiss sturm

Sturm comes in red (rot) and white (weiss).  Red sturm is commonly made from Zweigelt grapes, and the white from Grüner Veltliner.

Zweigelt and Grüner Veltliner grapes


I guess way back in the day, folks just couldn't wait for their wine to be ready, so they broke into the barrel and tapped into the sweet juice.  Who can blame them?

Sturm hut on the Am Hof, Vienna

Today drinking sturm in the fall is an Austrian tradition.  If you are in Vienna during sturm season, I encourage you to try some.  But be quick about it; it is only available for a short time.


Links to You Know You're in Vienna When:



Monday, October 8, 2012

When excellent wines are but an hour away


You know you are in Vienna when... excellent wines are but an hour away!

The hamlet of Unterloiben in the Wachau, home of the Knoll Family Winery


Recently we traveled to the Wachau Valley of Austria in search of new wines to taste.  My brother - visiting from California - was eager to learn about the Austrian wines.  We jumped in the car and headed northwest along the Danube.  Our first stop was Weingut Knoll, whose terraced vineyards run along the wide river.  We had a lovely tasting in the courtyard - I particularly liked the Smaragd whites, especially the Riesling!

Clockwise from lower left, Knoll wines, facade of the winery, Grüner Veltliner grapes, grape cart and tractor


Afterwards, we toured the cellar and strolled up the hill through the vineyards.

From left: the vineyard, grapes with noble rot or Botrytis


I enjoyed seeing how leftover stems and leaves were processed.


Processing Stems and Leaves from Valerie Tonus on Vimeo.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the Knoll family has a charming restaurant just across the street.  There's nothing quite like lunch out in the summer garden amongst the apple trees.

Clockwise from left: apples in the summer garden, pumpkin soup, lunch under the trees, cheese plate


After lunch we hopped back in the car for the 30-minute ride to the Rosner Family Winery in Langenlois, one of the biggest wine-producing towns in Austria.  I had tasted Rosner wines before and enjoyed them.  We met with the youngest vintner in the family - Stephan Rosner - and tasted our way through a number of labels!  Stephan kindly gave us a tour of the operation.

From lower left: Rosner logo, harvest time, Rosner barrel, icon of Pope Urban (often depicted with vine and grapes)


By the time we headed home, our trunk was filled with treasures from Knoll and Rosner.  If you have the time to do a day trip from Vienna, I encourage you to visit Austrian wine country.

Part of our catch.  There's Pope Urban again on the label!



Links to You Know You're in Vienna When:

Introducing You Know You're in Vienna When
When sturm is on the menu
When you don't carry a watch
When Turkenschanz turns crimson and gold
When dinkel's in your bread
When there's beauty in a regentag
When you've got the Gluhwein boost
When it's Silvester

Shared with let birds fly.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Introducing You Know You're In Vienna When...


After over three years living in this wonderful city, it is time to share more!  I have posted pieces on Vienna before, but just here and there.  So, in celebration of my last months in this extraordinary European capital, I am introducing a new blog series, You know you are in Vienna when...

I'll still share recipes, tutorials, and other bits on a creative life, but at least once a week I'll share something about living in Vienna.

Here's my first video, introducing the series...


SquareCircleWorks Clip on 9-18-12 from Valerie Tonus on Vimeo.


Links to You Know You're in Vienna When:

When excellent wines are but an hour away
When sturm is on the menu
When you don't carry a watch
When Turkenschanz turns crimson and gold
When dinkel's in your bread
When there's beauty in a regentag
When you've got the Gluhwein boost
When it's Silvester



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