From Vienna, drive along the Danube westward towards Lower Austria. Just past the city of Krems, you’ll encounter idyllic, terraced vineyards of the Wachau valley.
Walking along a path through ancient Weingärten, may lead you to spy an emerald-scaled Smaragd lizard. This sun-loving vineyard denizen is the mascot for the richest, most intensely flavored wines of the Wachau Valley
. Sip a Smaragd. Riesling or Grüner Veltliner and your palate will be awash in flavors of peach, citrus, honey, allspice and white blossom.
, the epicenter of modern wine alchemy in the region. This city’s most noticeable wine feature is the unforgettable Loisium
- a latter day temple to wine making The steel-skinned structure appears to have been designed by space age cubists. Additional stops at tasting rooms around Langenlois reveal not only traditional white wines, but also surprisingly good sparkling wine, and zesty reds.