Wine lovers traveling through Austria would be remiss to skip out on the beautiful, historic, Wachau Valley and all the grapes it has to offer. Voted the Best Historic Destination in the World in 2008, this valley is situated in the lovely lower Austrian country, formed by the Danube River. With its settlement history dating back to prehistoric times, these clusters of castles, monasteries and vineyards will appeal to both the wine enthusiast and the history buff.
Well worth a day trip from Zurich, one of the best ways to see the Wachau Valley is by bike. Whether you go two or four wheels, you will be free to pick from your choice of dozens of wineries to try. Sample local wines paired by the experts with local foods, all while enjoying stunning views. A few wineries to note include the Denk wine garden in Weissenkirchen, the Hirtzberger family estate, home to the world-famous Singerriedel Riesling and the Nikolaihof winery, which dates nearly 2,000 years, making it Austria’s oldest vineyard. In the nearby Kamptal region, there is even a wine museum for those who want a historical look at Austrian wine.
If you’re inclined to stay in the city, Vienna has plenty of options. Heuringen, family-run wine gardens and restaurants, are to be found all around the country, but there is a particular ring of these intimate spots in the hills above Vienna that are not to be missed. Accessible by public transportation, many offer delicious local fare to go with your wine tasting. For the urbanite, there are countless shops and cafés on street corners and down hidden alleyways in Vienna that sell Austrian wine by the glass and bottle. If you’re in the mood for some bubbly, check out Le Cru, a champagne bar, where you’ll be charmed by both good music and their impressive “Wall of Champagne.”