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The Wine Village of Purbach

Chances are you might be the only foreigner strolling through the village at the time of your visit to Purbach, on the western shores of Lake Neusiedl and a short hour south of Vienna. Don’t let this deter you, but rather be a badge of exploration.

'Kellergasse' in Purbach © Tourismusverband Purbach
'Kellergasse' in Purbach © Tourismusverband Purbach

Barely an hour south of Vienna lies a lovely secret: an ancient and beautiful village still untouched by tourism, yet brimming with the stuff of a wonderful sojourn. Purbach has a population of under 3,000, yet it is home to a dazzling culinary scene -- including one of Europe's top restaurants, Gut Purbach. Star chef Max Stiegl takes advantage of all this romantic region has to offer, from local agriculture to an array of award-winning vineyards. Smaller villages sometimes get trapped in the past, but ventures like Stiegl's demonstrate the innovation and vitality deep in Purbach's DNA.

Those qualities radiate outward to the Restaurant Kloster am Spitz, where brothers Wolfgang and Thomas Schwarz attend the cuisine and winery respectively. Another wine location worth visiting is the Leithaberg DAC vinotheque, which offers regional specialties and has more than 350 local wines for sale. It is housed in the charming “Haus am Kellerplatz,” which also features the Ramsar-Exhibition on the fauna and flora of the World Heritage Region Neusiedlersee-Seewinkl. The team of the adjacent Tourist Office is eager to help with advice on more activities and attractions.

To build up an appetite for dinner, take a dip in the Lake Neusiedl,  bike around it, or a tour of the fifty historic wine cellars in nearby Kellergasse.