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    • Dining on a vineyard / Lower Austria
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    Drinking Culture in Austria

    Culinary tips for lovers of fine wines, sparkling champagne, mindfully brewed beer, precious brandies and fine must.

    From the Alps to the Danube and onwards to the Pannonian Plain, Austria combines natural landscapes such as mountains, forests, rivers, lakes and fertile land. And in the midst of nature, passionate producers know how to let noble drops mature into treasures in their cellars from a variety of different types of fruits.

    In the Alps, experiments are being carried out with Mountain and Swiss Stone pine. They even venture into whiskey and gin. In other regions of the country, locals have devoted themselves to hops and are constantly creating new types of beer with love and a spirit of innovation.

    The excellent drinking water, the soil and the climate make a decisive contribution to the quality of the products. Austrian wines, sparkling wines, noble brandies, beers and musts are among the world's best and are harmonious accompaniments to regional and international dishes.

    Vineyards in Berghausen
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    Typically Austrian

    A glass of wine anyone?

    Viticulture has been rooted in Austria for thousands of years. Vines and the typical grape varieties are part of the landscape, the culture and everyday life in Austria. The diversity of the wine landscape is reflected in the variety of wine types: sparkling, light to powerful white wines, fruity to full-bodied red wines and, last but not least, sweet wines full of finesse and inner tension, which are among the best in the world.

    The winegrowers have managed to create an extremely successful combination of winegrowing tradition and contemporary processing techniques. Organic viticulture is gaining in importance. This achieves a significant contribution to biodiversity in the vineyard ecosystem.

    Stay overnight at the winery

    •                         Wine lofts in Großpetersdorf
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      Wine lofts in Burgenland

      Visitors now stay in modern cellars in southern Burgenland, where full-bodied Blaufränkische, tangy Welschriesling and fruity Uhudler used to mature.
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    •                         Winery StephanO - Roof terrace and vineyard
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      Winery Stephano in Burgenland

      At the Stephano Winery in Deutsch Schützen on the Eisenberg, top wines with character, depth and spice are produced with passion. It is worthwhile to linger.
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    •                         Tement winery in Styria
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      Tement Winery in Styria

      New life in old walls: Amidst the hilly landscape of southern Styria, revitalized stone winegrowers' houses invite you to visit.
      Read more (German only)
    •                         Winery Hutter
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      Leindl Inn in Lower Austria

      With a view of the wine region and the Göttweig Abbey, the Leindl Inn, formerly the Hutter Winery, is located on a hill near Krems on the Danube. The vineyard is one of the best sites in the region.
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    •                         Vineyard - Winery Bründlmayer
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      Winery Bründlmayer in Lower Austria

      The vineyards of the Bründlmayer family are located on the hills surrounding the wine town of Langenlois. The Heurigenhof invites guests staying overnight at the winery to taste the estate's own wines.
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    •                         Exterior view of the Prandtauerhof
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      Winery Holzapfel in Lower Austria

      The winery is a baroque jewel in the Wachau. The grapes, which grow on stone terraces above the Danube, are carefully harvested and vinified by hand.
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    •                         Frühstücksraum im Gut Oberstockstall am Wagram
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      Winery Oberstockstall in Lower Austria

      Winemaker Fritz Salomon cultivates biodynamic viticulture and promotes ecological diversity. His sites are among the best in the Wagram wine region.
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    Tips for wine walks

    •                 Loisium in Langenlois / Wine museum
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      Wine hike in Western Styria Wine hike in Western Styria

      Hikers encounter two treasures on this route: the Schilcher, a Styrian wine made from the Blauen Wildbacher grape, and the high moor.

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    •                 Vineyards in Ratsch
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      Wine hiking trail in southern Styria Wine hiking trail in southern Styria

      From Leutschach, the trail leads to the five-meter-high grape on the Eory-Kogel and across the Sulztal valley - along the Styrian-Slovenian border - to Ratsch an der Weinstraße.

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    •                 Weinweg Langenlois, Waldviertel, Traube am Käferberg
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      Wine Trail Langenlois in Lower Austria Wine Trail Langenlois in Lower Austria

      Along the nature trail, hikers encounter sculptures such as an "earthworm" boring through the vineyard or an imposing iron sphere object reminiscent of a grape.

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    •                 vineyards around the city Retz / Retz
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      Wine hiking trail Retz in the Weinviertel Wine hiking trail Retz in the Weinviertel

      From the main square of the wine town Retz, the circular route leads through hilly vineyards up to the Winzerhaus am Altenberg and along the Setzberg back to the town.

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    •                 Dürnstein / Wachau
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      World Heritage Trail Wachau World Heritage Trail Wachau

      Hike from the city of Krems to Dürnstein and the famous castle ruins, through cellar alleys and on stone terraces with great views in the Krems and Wachau wine countryside.

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    Wine experiences

    •                         Picnic in the vineyards
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      Picnic in the vineyard

      Spread out the fluffy blanket, put down the bulging picnic basket and take a seat in the middle of the vineyard.
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      Cellar lanes in Lower Austria

      In the romantic cellar lanes people meet to taste the wines and to celebrate: cellar lane tours and festivals are popular.
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    •                         Loisium / Lower Austria
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      Loisium wine world in Langenlois

      An imposing silver cube is hidden in the middle of the vineyard. There, an exciting tour into the cellar labyrinth awaits the guests.
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    Special vines in Austria

    Grapevines in the vineyards of the Cobenzl winery in Vienna

    Highly prized grape varieties

    Wine culture in Austria has produced numerous so-called "autochthonous" grape varieties. They have arisen in a particular region through natural crossing or mutation and have adapted perfectly to the climate and soil conditions over the years. They reflect this area unmistakably in their quality.

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    • Vineyards in the Weinviertel / Lower Austria
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      Grüner Veltliner

      This spicy, peppery wine is derived from a Traminer crossing.

    • Loisium in Langenlois / Wine museum
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      Zierfandler

      A white wine also called late red because the grapes turn reddish.

    • Loisium in Langenlois / Wine museum
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      Blauer Wildbacher

      The Schilcher, a pink-colored, fruity wine, is pressed from this vine.

    • Landscape of Central Burgenland
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      Blaufränkisch

      The red wine is the leading variety in Mittelburgenland. The bouquet smells of wild berries.

    The grape is a great little fruit: it refreshes and is sweet and sour at the same time. It is blue-purple or greenish-white and likes to grow in Austria. Here it has fresh air, lush soil, plenty of sun and silence, interrupted only by the people who take great care of the precious vines. The small berry is the essence of the best wines and sparkling wines. What would weddings, New Year's Eve and the ball season in Vienna be without the sparkle in the slender glass?

    Sparkling wine: the most elegant refinement of the grape

    Years pass before the grapes become a fine sparkling wine. In between - according to the "Méthode traditionelle" - they are harvested, prepared, bottled. And waited. Until the dosage, the great secret of every producer. This elaborate game is celebrated, for example, by Schlumberger, one of the oldest (since 1842) and most traditional sparkling wine cellars in the country. But sparkling wines from other domestic wineries also delight the palates of great connoisseurs.

    Special sparkling wine cellars in Austria

    Rüttelpulte Schlumberger Sektkellerei Wien
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    Viennese sparkling

    Schlumberger sparkling wine

    Schlumberger knows what is good: Since 1842, the sparkling wine producer has relied on the "Méthode traditionelle" from the French Champagne region. The result: each bottle contains the essence of the best Austrian grapes, which are picked and processed by hand with the utmost care. The cellar-mark on the bottom of the bottle is the mark of quality for this elaborate process that takes years to complete. No wonder sparkling wine from Schlumberger is the secret star at the Vienna Opera Ball every year.

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    Burgenland, Lake Neusiedl, Gols

    Szigeti Champagne Winery

    The place where Peter Szigeti likes to be the most? His vineyards. There he tends and examines his grapes with the eye of an expert who is also an enthusiast. Because only the best of the hand-picked, sun-ripened grapes from the Neusiedler See and Seewinkel region make it into the selected circle. These are then processed into sparkling wine, where they can show their varietal character.

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    Lower Austria, Kamptal, Langenlois

    Winery Gobelsburg Castle

    Around the old Gobelsburg Castle, the Pinot noir, Riesling and Grüner Veltliner grape varieties grow in a fairytale atmosphere. When the grapes are ripe, they are carefully picked into small crates and gently pressed. Then they are allowed to linger in the barrel - for six months - until the base of the sparkling wine is ready to be bottled. There it rests for another two to three years - until the "grande finale," when it is shaken by hand and disgorged, meaning freed of yeast.

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    Lower Austria, Kamptal, Langenlois

    Winery Bründlmayer

    "Light salmon pink with red-gold reflections, fine persistent mousseux, scent of cherries and wild strawberries, a hint of citrus, caramel, yeast notes, fruity and creamy", this is how experts describe the charming Bründlmayer sparkling wine "Brut Rosé", which is pressed in equal parts from the three red grapes Pinot noir, Zweigelt and St. Laurent.

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    Lower Austria, Kamptal, Langenlois

    Winery Jurtschitsch

    Alwin and Stefanie Jurtschitsch have great respect for nature. That is why they also farm their soils organically. They are convinced that only healthy soils and vigorous vines can produce a high-quality sparkling wine like the "Brut Nature". The foundation for this creation is 100% Grüner Veltliner from a high and cool site, which is left on lees for four and a half years according to the "Méthode traditionelle" - but then receives no dosage. Pure nature.

    Heiligenstein near Zöbing
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    Lower Austria, Kamptal, Langenlois

    Winery Steininger

    When it comes to cru champagnes like those from the Steininger winery, not only the grape varieties used are important, but also the terroir on which the vines ripen: The Riesling comes from the Heiligenstein vineyard, which is considered an insider tip among wine lovers. The Grüner Veltliner comes from the sun-drenched Steinhaus site. These conditions and the careful second fermentation in the bottle make the basic sparkling wines of the winery particularly clear, fruity and fragrant creations.

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    Lower Austria, Weinviertel, Schrattenberg

    Sparkling wine cellar Christian Madl

    The sparkling wines produced by Christian Madl from the Weinviertel can almost be called art. In addition to his really good intuition, he also has the best soils: the area around Poysdorf in the Weinviertel is known for its outstandingly suitable microclimate. And this favors the production of sparkling wines of the highest quality, which is also proven: by numerous Austrian, German and French awards.

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    Styria, Southern Styria, St. Nikolai im Sausal

    Sparkling wine factory Hannes Harkamp

    Hannes Harkamp is hard to please. He constantly wants to make his sparkling wines even better. Fortunately, he is blessed with particularly limestone-rich soils in the Sausal region of southern Styria. To emphasize the delicately creamy and somewhat full-bodied character in the sparkling wine that is so appreciated, he has his base wines for the "Brut Reserve" fermented in wooden barrels. Only a few sparkling wine producers do this. And that makes his creations something truly exceptional.

    Did you know that ...

    Interview with cellar master Herbert Jagersberger from Schlumberger

    austria.info:

    Why is the méthode traditionelle considered to be a superior method of making sparkling wine?

    Herbert Jagersberger:

    Anyone who knows much about sparkling wine and champagne will be familiar with the words attributed to the Benedictine monk and cellar master Dom Pérignon who developed the traditional bottle fermentation method: “Come quickly brothers, I am tasting the stars!” For me, this saying expresses the fascination of a beverage that is brought to perfection by being fermented twice and that truly comes close to the heavens. There are good reasons why the méthode traditionelle has become the most widely used method for making high quality products. If you have mastered the art it is certainly the best technique. But it doesn’t forgive mistakes, because once the product has been put into the bottle it stays there. Nor can anything be left to chance during the earlier stages of the production process - from choosing the optimum grape material to the blending. We have very clear ideas about what the grapes should look like and which cuvée we want and in which quality. We therefore monitor and support our winegrowers all year round. And the greatest pleasure is when we have the optimal grape material for the press: Because then we know we have the basis for a high-quality product. The challenge then is not to lose any of this quality. Because we claim that our sparkling wine is the most agreeable to the palate.

    austria.info:

    What other factors have to be taken into consideration during production?

    Herbert Jagersberger:

    When the product is bottled after primary fermentation, we have to pay meticulous attention to how many yeast cells enter the bottle and whether the fermentation process takes place properly, because this is an important basis for palatability. Moreover, it is not enough to learn the theory and then to bring in a harvest once; each year is different. Nature often becomes the adversary. You have to be involved in the entire process for between three and five years to know how it’s done. This summer we had some extremely hot days; that was different 30 years ago. Under these circumstances cooling will become a key issue for maintaining quality.

    austria.info:

    What fascinates you most about the production process?

    Herbert Jagersberger:

    Provided you take the time, you can achieve massive improvements in quality and draw out incredible differences in flavour when adding the dosage. Traditional bottle fermentation is simply the best way to achieve this. But the one thing you do need is patience. I’m actually quite impatient by nature and the time I spend waiting until the maturing process is finally where it should be, is really testing. But there’s no way around it, if you want to have a top quality product.

    The most beautiful lake terraces to drink a glass of champagne

    • Exterior view of the Seeglück Hotel Forelle in summer taken from the lake
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    • WolfgangseeShipping
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    • Unterach am Attersee
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    • Side view of the Bootshaus restaurant with terrace at Seehotel Das Traunsee 4*S in Traunkirchen
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    • Summer day on the Alte Donau
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    The Mühlviertel: Soft water, mighty rocks

    It is no coincidence that the people of the Mühlviertel specialize so strongly in beer: The granite soil filters the water, making it particularly pure and soft - and thus ideal for brewing beer. Then there are the high-quality hops: no other region in Austria sproduces as many hops as the Mühlviertel. So it's no wonder that the region with its rolling hills, vast forests and mighty granite rocks has even produced two award-winning beer sommeliers: Karl and Felix Schiffner of the eponymous Schiffner Inn (German only).

    The beer artists from the Mühlviertel region

    Austria's very first craft beer was probably brewed as early as 1999, when Peter Krammer of the Hofstetten brewery made his first pumpkin beer. Today, the almost 800-year-old Landbrauhaus produces an amazing variety of beers, such as organic honey beer. The idea for this once came from a beekeeper friend - and Krammer's response wasn't long in coming: "You know about honey, we know about beer - let's try that!" What can we say: the variety is still a bestseller today.

    What are glowing stones doing in beer?

    Another specialty of the house is the "Granitbock": a bock beer fermented in 120-year-old granite troughs. Before that, granite stones are made to glow over an open fire and dipped into the beer to caramelize the sugar inside - a real spectacle. And because the art of brewing beer is ultimately still manual labor, the sugar content of the beer is constantly checked by hand. The result: toasty caramel notes and aromas of dark chocolate and wild berry - a delight!

    Cheers! Austria is a beer country with a rich tradition and innovative breweries

    The conditions in Austria are perfect for brewing beer. First-class water bubbles up from springs, grain and hops flourish, and imaginative brewmasters combine traditional craftsmanship with fresh ideas. Most breweries offer a look behind the scenes during tours, tastings and brew days.

    •                 Bierol - Craft Beer
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      Craft beer from Tyrol Craft beer from Tyrol

      The young brewmasters of Bierol near Kufstein rely on unconventional beers with exotic names such as "Bomboclaat".

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    •                 Stieglkeller in Salzburg
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      Stiegl Brewery in Salzburg Stiegl Brewery in Salzburg

      The Stiegl Brewery World offers exciting guided tours and initiates guests into the secrets of brewing beer.

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      Eggenberg Castle Brewery in the Salzkammergut region Eggenberg Castle Brewery in the Salzkammergut region

      With a great deal of craftsmanship and already for 200 years, this family business in Eggenberg Castle has been producing delicious beer from local ingredients.

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      Ottakringer Brewery in Vienna Ottakringer Brewery in Vienna

      Ottakringer" is probably the best-known beer in the federal capital. However, seasonal delicacies are also created in the in-house creative brewery "Brauwerk".

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    •                 Golser brewery
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      Gols Brewery in Burgenland Gols Brewery in Burgenland

      The specialties of this brewery are refined with the finest ingredients such as chestnuts, spelt, herbs, fruits or spices.

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    •                 Murauer Brewery
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      Murau Brewery in Styria Murau Brewery in Styria

      The fact that Murau beer tastes excellent is shown by the "World Beer Award" for "Murauer Weißbier" alone.

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    •                 Brewery Shilling
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      Shilling Brewery in Carinthia Shilling Brewery in Carinthia

      In the modern brewing plant, a wide variety of beer creations are brewed from hops and malt, such as the "Garnet Beer" or the "Nock Ale".

      Read more (German only)

    Tirol: Noble from the Stanzer plum

    Fine, peppery spiciness, a delicate hint of stone and an elegant finish: this is how the people of Stanz describe the noble brandy they produce from the region's juicy plums. The small community of Stanz is home to no fewer than 60 distilleries. Visitors can explore the home of the Stanz plums on a hike with a stop at one of the distilleries.

    Styria: Ripe fruit from the volcanic land

    For four generations, the Gölles family has farmed fruit orchards in the sunny hill country surrounding medieval Riegersburg Castle. In search of the perfect taste, the gardens are planted with old, rare fruit varieties - such as thousands of Kriecherl, Maschanzker or Hirschbirnen trees. Alois Gölles now begins to distill noble Schnaps from the fruit. But only the best and ripe fruits find their way into the precious copper kettles.

    Salzburger Land: Aromas from the forest

    At the Mandlberggut in Radstadt, the Dachstein Distillery invites visitors to look over the shoulders of the master distillers as they refine native plants such as mountain pine - a pine plant found only in the Alps: from the harvest to the production of the essences, noble spirits and the Austrian "Rock Whiskey."

    Tyyrolian Schnaps
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    The art of distilling liquor

    Schnaps route in Tyrol

    The Tirolean Schnaps Route offers inquisitive people and gourmets the opportunity to learn more about how these high-proof delicacies are made. From fruit cultivation to blending and the distilling process itself to the proper tasting of the brandy: 41 Schnaps distillers in North and East Tirol have made it their business to show guests how the special clarity, fruitiness and purity of their high-quality schnapps comes about. At the end of each tour there is a joint tasting.

    And once you have experienced how complex the path of the apricot, pear, currant or raspberry is from the garden to the glass, then you appreciate such a noble brandy even more.

    2 excellent distilleries

    •                         Müller distillery in Radstadt
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      Distillery Müller from the province of Salzburg

      In affectionate small work noble brandy is produced from 20 fruit varieties. It is traditionally heated with wood from our own forest.
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    •                         Farthofer Distillery
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      Distillery Farthofer from Lower Austria

      The Fahrthofer distillery is one of the best organic farms in the Mostviertel region. In the Mostelleria, visitors take a look behind the scenes and taste the specialties.
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    Monastery Pernegg in lower austria

    Fruits used for Noble Brandies

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    The prerequisite for noble brandies are valuable fruits. The quality, the ripeness and the taste of the fruit are reflected in the fruit brandy. And therefore it is a matter of course for the master distillers in Austria that only the best goes into the bottle.

    Many regions cultivate particularly enjoyable, traditional varieties in meadow orchards and plantations. Intense colors and aromas and a balanced sugar and acid ratio are the result of the climate: many hours of sunshine in summer and temperature differences between day and night in autumn.

    However, with the knowledge and experience gained over generations, new things are also created. In addition to brandies, juices, jams, chutneys and compotes are also produced and made into delicious desserts such as fruit dumplings, pancakes, strudels and tarts.

    Most of the cornel cherry harvest is still done manualy
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    Distillery Fuxsteiner

    Fire red dirndls and much heart blood

    The Fuxsteiner family specializes in the Dirndl - the local name for the cornelian cherry - on their mountain farm in the Pielach Valley: Around 20,000 kilos of the red wild fruit are processed annually into high-quality brandies, juices, jams and other delicacies. For the family it is a matter of honor that all Dirndls are handpicked. On the Dirndl Nature Trail guests learn everything about the robust wild fruit.

    The Pielach Valley celebrates its Dirndlkirtag in autumn with an enjoyable and colorful program. The festivities focus on the Dirndl in two respects: the red wild fruits called Dirndln and the female "Dirndln" (girls), from which the "Dirndl Queen" is chosen.

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      Must from Austria: Thirst quencher for connoisseurs

      The Mostviertel is a record-breaker: over 100,000 pear trees grow here. The people know how to make the best use of their fruit - to the delight of their guests.

    The blooming pear trees in the Mostviertel
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    Farm Distelberger

    Pure variety pear cider

    "Even the trees are a tradition with us," grins must baron Distelberger, and he knows why: his pear trees are up to 300 years old. In the next breath, he explains what that means: particularly intense-tasting fruit and thus a must of the highest quality.

    The fact that the individual pear varieties are not mixed in the production of the must has made the region around the 200-kilometer-long Moststraße internationally famous. At the Distelberger gourmet farm, Must is produced in around 20 varieties, which are best tasted in the shady courtyard of the 900-year-old square farm. Recently, a real innovation in Austria: the ice cider. Here, the freshly squeezed pear juice is mixed with water and stored outdoors, as it needs the frost periods in winter to ripen.

    Harvest pears / Hochkönig ,Mostviertel
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    Heuriger "Stone pear"

    Of stone and fruity pears

    The "Steinerne Birne" wine tavern is also a real family business: four generations work together every day. They produce up to 15 varieties of perry - many of them award-winning -, bake crusty bread and fluffy pastries, raise chickens and cook the meat for the snack. The Binder family's dedication to their work is also evident in many loving details: stone pears act as door closers and the handrail of the staircase is made from a wooden "pear tree shaker".

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