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.

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