Styria is known to be the prime Austrian travel destination for foodies. Many titles, such as the so-called “Culinary Capital City Graz“, hint towards the region being a great destination for anybody who loves great food. And truth be told, the density of excellent local producers- wine, juices, schnapps, vinegar, oil, ham, cheese, chocolate – is especially high in the Vulkanland district, an area in Eastern Styria. I have already travelled and eaten my way through here in 2014, whereas this year adds another interesting component to the mix: Wine tastings and viticulture portraits. Worth noting when travelling around the Vulkanland district is the highly aromatic Traminer, which we have sampled at all our tasting stops in the area.
Altogether on this trip, we have visited and stayed in all three wine growing districts of Styria: Besides the Vulkanland Steiermark, I will tell you more about the Schilcherland wine growing district as well as the South Styrian Wine Road in my next blog posts.
An overview of the Vulkanland food & wine district, and which places not to miss.
Viticulture in this area spans a surface of 1.500 hectares; the main grape varieties are well-known Austrian varieties, such as Welschriesling, Weißburgunder, Sauvignon Blanc, Morillon or the aromatic Traminer. If you’d like to know more about the terroir, the single wine growing districts of the Vulkanland, as well as more details about the 200 plus wine estates, you are welcome to check out the (well-done English) website about “Austrian Wine”: https://www.austrianwine.com/our-wine/wine-growing-regions/steiermark-styria/vulkanland-steiermark. Starting with the 2018 vintage, you may also find the prestigious certificate of origin Vulkanland Steiermark DAC (“Districtus Austriae Controllatus”), a well-known international quality label that includes nine different varieties. We recommend you visit Richard Hofner, managing director and head sommelier at the Gesamtsteirische Vinothek in Sankt Anna am Aigen, a wine shop whose tasting range includes wines from all over Styria.
150+ open bottles for tasting, more than 200 tasty items for sale: Make sure to visit the wine shop “Gesamtsteirische Vinothek” in Sankt Anna am Aigen.
In addition to shopping for wines from Styria, you can buy other regional products, such as quality liqueurs, wine accessories or other local craft items. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time for the so-called “Wine Trail of the Senses” (we have opted for the nearby “Traminer Trail” instead!), it is definitely recommended to do though if you can spare some more time around Sankt Anna am Aigen.
Lisa Frühwirth, of the Frühwirth Wine Estate, has us (re)discover the so-called “Klöcher Traminer” wine. Do check out her wine shop and estate.
Lisa Frühwirth, who guides us around in the afternoon, loves a good laugh and is happy to show us several shortcuts right through the vineyards on our way along the Traminerweg Trail. A week ahead of the grape harvest, we have come at precisely the right time to nibble some ripe grapes here and there. I love that she takes the time to show us some excellent lookout points, places you would not normally find on your own but only with a local.
After a sunny vineyard walk, we get to relax and sit down on her restaurant terrace, adjacent to the main wine shop and cellar area of the wine estate. Do make sure you order a typical “Winzerjause” (a typical food platter of all things good and local), as well as a tasting selection of the acclaimed Weingut Frühwirth wines.
If you care to check out even more landscape photography and winesome travel tips from Styria, I recommend you head over to my Flickr Photo Gallery:
Disclaimer: I have been invited by the Austrian Wine Marketing Agency as well as local partners to visit the wine growing districts of Styria. All opinions are my own.