Kayak flight search lead us to book Thanksgiving week in Austria and Hungary, two totally unexpected spots that I didn’t have very high on my list of must-see places, but that was honestly part of the fun of it, something totally different and unexpected from our long list of western Europe bucket-list destinations.
And so we found ourselves spending 2 nights in the wine regions surrounding Vienna. We flew into Vienna and rented a car to drive 1 hour north to Langenlois, Austria’s largest wine-producing town in the heart of the Kamptal region. We spent one night at the Loisium Wine & Spa Resort where we greatly enjoyed the 3 different saunas/steam room and outdoor heated pool! The rooms were so spacious and the breakfast was wonderful! We walked down the hill to a delicious dinner at Heurigenhof Brundlmayer, the restaurant affiliated with the famous Brundlmayer Winery. As we were there Sunday/Monday, the winery was closed so the restaurant was a great option to taste several wines paired with some of the best food of our time in Austria.
Lucky for us it was the beginning of goose season, paired with dumplings and the most amazing red wine cabbage! Seriously one of the best apple desserts I’ve ever had, and the cheese…..goes without saying! The wines were all delicious as well, I know we’re in white wine territory but one of my favorites of the night was the Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend! We also had a Chardonnay dessert wine which was a first for me but how could I say no to a new version of Chardonnay?? A perfect pairing for the apple tart.
We started day 2 with a dip in the pool before breakfast, can every day start like that?
We headed to Schloss Gobelsburg where we were really given the royal treatment by our lovely host Evelyn and a broad tasting of some of their best. 10 wines before noon, going strong straight out of the gate! Their 2015 “Tradition” Gruner Veltliner and Riesling were my favorites.
We said our goodbyes and made our way back towards Vienna to the town of Stetten where we spent the afternoon with Heidi of Pfaffl Winery. Her and her brother Roman took over their parent’s winery and were awarded European Winery of the Year in 2016 by Wine Enthusiast! Talk about brother/sister dream team and serious #goals.
Roman Sr. started the winery in 1978 and has been a steward of the Grüner Veltliner grape ever since; so much so that he was deemed “Mr. Veltliner” and has pushed for world recognition of the grape through his skilled winemaking. This grape is often associated with notes of pepper, this is very prevalent in Pfaffl wines, so much so that it’s referred to as the signature “Pfaffl Pepper”.
Stay tuned for Part 2 – onward south to Rust in the heart of Burgenland!
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