Austria wears the seasons very well. Whether she be resplendent with blue skies, golden with falling leaves, sparkling with ice and snow, or flush with budding greenery, Austria is beautiful country. One need only travel the Weinstrasse through southern Styria to be reminded of this lest one forget amidst the bustle and rush of urban life. The Weinstrasse is a narrow, winding road that snakes through the hills of the Styrian wine country bordering on Slovenia.
True to its name, the street is peppered with wineries, restaurants, and stands where you can taste the wares! These include a wide variety of wines – Sauvignon Blanc, Welschriesling, and Gemischter Satz among them! – as well as the seasonal Sturm (young wine with a low alcohol content) and heisse Maroni (roasted chestnuts)! It felt criminal to be eating roasted chestnuts while bathing in such warm sunlight but then again the season is upon us and it doesn’t last long – the Weinstrasse is fit to burst from the end of September until the end of October/beginning of November.
A view from the top: the hills of Styrian wine country.
After so many years of living in Austria not too far from the famed Weinstrasse, my interest was more than picqued – and my expectations were more than met. I had the luck of incredible weather – I still have the sunburn to prove it! – and the luxury of great company, fine food, and delicious drink. The Weinstrasse is absolutely worth a visit but travelers from Vienna take heed: make it an overnight trip as the bubbly is infectious and post-wining and dining all I could muster the energy for was pouring myself into bed.