A Viennese Adventure

Adventures, they mean something different for everyone. Maybe an adventure is hiking in the Amazon Rainforest, or hang gliding over the Grand Canyon. Maybe an adventure takes place in your own backyard. Part of why people love traveling so much is because of the sense of adventure it provides. An adventure is exactly what I had while in Vienna, Austria this past summer, trying to find a small heuriger the man from whom we rented our airbnb recommended. “It’s only a quick tram ride and a short walk” he had said.

This little adventure came towards the end of a larger trip to Europe with my mother, brother, and cousin. Of course, once I learned that a heuriger is basically a wine bar that serves new wines made from their own vineyards, I had to go. We made the hike from Schönbrunn Palace, which ended up taking over an hour. So here we are, a group of four American tourists at a tram stop just outside Vienna, my mom with her map, and the rest of us wandering around, lost, without the use of the GPS on our phones.

After taking a few minutes to regain our bearings, we set off. At first we were on main streets, passing shops and restaurants. But then, according to the directions on the map, we turned onto a residential street. Quaint, with well manicured houses lining a road that twisted uphill. Following the map we turned onto another residential street, then another. We were lost, I was completely sure of it. But then, we noticed a few cars and taxis pull into what appeared to be a dirt driveway. We followed them up the path, which eventually lead to the heuriger, Weinbau Zawodsky.

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The atmosphere of Weinbau Zawodsky is anything but touristy. I am fairly positive we were the only tourists there. We sat on the back patio, under a trestle covered in grapevines. The view was astonishing, the vineyards with rows and rows of grapevines stretched over the hills in every direction. There were two options as far as food went. Inside, there was a deli style serving counter, where they had things like pasta salad and stuffed grape leaves, among other things. Outside there was someone barbecuing different meats, and everything was delicious. The real center of attention was obviously the wine. Our waitress explained that what they are known for is a white wine made from grapes grown mostly in Austria, Grüner Veltliner. Now, I have done some further research on this grape variety, and discovered that it is grown in other places, too, mostly just Slovakia and the Czech Republic, but also has recently appeared in New World regions including Australia and the United States. I was also excited to learn that it is believed to date all the way back to Roman times.

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The wine we ordered was their premier variety made from the Grüner Veltliner grape. A light, white wine, that was subtly fruity with some spicy notes, and VERY drinkable. So drinkable, infact, that my younger brother, who “claims” that he doesn’t even like wine, enjoyed three full glasses. This is the perfect summer wine to sip on while sitting on a patio and watching the sunset. If you are ever in the Vienna area, I strongly suggest you look up Weinbau Zawodsky Heuriger and make the trip out there. I would also suggest you take a taxi, since it is not the easiest place to find on foot. After stuffing ourselves like a turkey on Thanksgiving, and sharing enough wine for eight people, we took a taxi back.

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