Autumn in Austria
For a boisterous months-long celebration of food and wine, visit during the Lower Austria Fall Wine Festival season and call a 12th-century monastery home.
Within striking distance of Vienna, the lively Lower Austria Fall Wine Festivals kick off harvest season in August and continue into November. Highlighting the hundreds of grape-centric events are inventive seven-course feasts, glamorous gala evenings and rustic wine cellar fests.
Between events, explore wine villages and romantic cellar lanes by bike and linger over a picnic in the vineyards. You can take in steep vine-crossed terraces and fall’s breathtaking colors as you sip exquisite Riesling Smaragd aboard a Danube River ferry. And be sure to try a “sturm,” the newly harvested, fresh, fizzy white wine — a local favorite.
“Grüner Veltliner is the last of the great European white wine grapes.” So observed Terry Theise, the U.S. wine connoisseur. The popular wine is a highlight of its native Lower Austria, and nowhere more so than at Nikolaihof.
Tucked away near Krems, this former 12th-century monastery is Europe’s first biodynamic wine estate. The organic winery would be famous simply for its Robert Parker-endorsed Grüner, were it not for the equally sensational kitchen, the beloved annual apricot harvest (think fluffy apricot dumplings!) and one of the more enchanting dining spots on the continent. On a warm summer night, indulge in the finest Grüners and a spectacular meal underneath a massive, century-old Kaiser lime tree.
(Photo courtesy of Austrian Tourism)