After a successful morning in the Kamptal region, we continued our drive past Vienna, another hour south to Rust in the heart of Burgenland. We rested our heads at Pension Kral Bike & Wine, after over 30 wines in one day I don’t think I’ve ever hit the pillow so hard! Word of warning, almost nothing is open in Rust on Monday nights, we drove 20 minutes to Eisenstadt and for dinner at Die Alm, it was good, and in a really cool building perched on a hilltop, but we were so tired it was a quick evening and back home to bed.
|Austria’s bed set up was actually very functional with two individual duvets (no cover hogging!), gotta try this at home!|
After a simple breakfast overlooking the vines behind the pension we headed to Triebaumer where we spent the morning in the cellar with Gunter, third generation wine maker who with his wife Regina runs the winery. It was so eye opening to chat with Gunter and taste through his truly extraordinary wines, 14 of them to be exact, again we were off to the races well before noon!
Rust and Burgenland is more red wine territory and Gunter’s wines really showcased the terroir. His 2015 Blaufränkisch Reserve was incredible, with notes of dark cherry and a hint of spice. His sweet wines were also amazing, especially the 2014 Ruster Ausbruch (the signature wine of the region, made from hand-selected individual grapes affected with Botrytis or “noble rot”) with notes of apricot compote, honey and fresh out of the oven brioche.
We headed a few doors down to our next stop, Feiler-Artinger. Run by 4th generation Kurt Feiler and his wife Katrin, who took us through her favorite 9 wines in their warm and cozy tasting room right on the main street. They are one of the few to produce a Ruster Ausbruch from the red Zweigelt grape, the 2013 was harvested the first week of December! These grapes hang around for quite some time until that noble rot sets in! The wine is then fermented for 2 years in oak, so it’s certainly a labor of love from grape to bottle.
Next up, perhaps one of the more widely known Rust producers, Heidi Schrock. Her son gave us a cellar tour and barrel tasting of some of the still fermenting 2017 wines! Then we went upstairs for more tasting, including their Furmint, Weisburgunder and sweet wines Auslese and Ruster Ausbruch. Their sweet wine labels are designed with images and symbols representing the tasting notes found in the wines, making it very easy to decide which wine you would want to pair with your mood or meal!
We hit the road to drive back towards Vienna stopping in Tattendorf to visit our friend Stefan at his family’s winery Landauer-Gisperg. Another solid lineup of wines including several different St. Laurent wines (the 3rd most widely planted grape in Austria, known for being highly aromatic with dark skins).
This itinerary is not for the weak! We tasted over 50 wines in one day (I spit all but 3) with no time for lunch as we raced through the Austrian countryside! But it was so eye opening to experience these unique varieties and to hear the stories of these hardworking families living their passion.
We made our way back to Vienna where we faceplanted into the most delicious dinner at Trattoria da Paolo y Anna. I can’t even believe it but I was a little wine’d out at that point, but a glass of dry prosecco revived my palate and made for a truly enjoyable end to an amazing tour through the best of Austrian wine!
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