Gently rolling hills covered with vineyards nestling one against the other blend harmoniously into the landscape of the wine regions along the Danube in Lower Austria. Wine is the livelihood for many people in the region and has a long tradition.
In fact, viticulture has a two-thousand year (cultural) history along the Danube. The Celts and Illyrians are believed to have pressed wine from wild grapes long before then, but systematic cultivation began at the time of the Roman occupation. The Bavarian dioceses and monasteries probably built the first terraced vineyards in the Wachau in the Middle Ages. Viticulture reached a heyday at the time, with large parts of today's Vienna planted in grapevines and the monasteries exporting their already in-depth knowledge of wine into the Danube region - a development that has left visible and delectable traces down to the present day.
From the Wachau to the gateway of Vienna, white wines are the predominant varieties whereas powerful reds prevail in Carnuntum in far-eastern Lower Austria. The most authentic way of experiencing these excellent vintages is at cellar-lined lane festivals and at traditional heurige wine taverns. Whether you opt for a wine festival in one of the picturesque cellar-lined lanes in the different wine regions or other types of oenophile events - enjoying wine outdoors is a favorite pastime along the Danube in Lower Austria from May to September.
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Cellar-lined Lane Festivals and Culinary Highlights
All about Apricots
Each year in July, this enjoyable cultural festival in the historical center of Krems celebrates the beloved local variety of apricots. Visitors can taste their way through the historical center during a three-day festival honoring the famed apricot. Apricot creations abound, from apricot dumplings and apricot ice-cream to apricot punch and apricot crepes. The highlight is the ceremony at which three 25-meter-long apricot cakes are cut and served to the crowds.
Dates in 2019: July 12 to 14
Spitz Apricot Kirtag
At the traditional Apricot Kirtag in July, the people of Spitz treat their guests to the incredible variety of Wachau apricot specialty dishes. There are apricot dumplings from the legendary apricot dumpling vending machines along with marmalade, schnapps, and cake.
Dates in 2019: July 19 to 21
Weissenkirchen Riesling Festival
Romantic Weissenkirchen in the Wachau, the largest Wachau wine community, invites the public to join in on the traditional Riesling Festival in the Teisenhoferhof in August. Along with top Wachau wines, visitors can look forward to traditional dishes and musical entertainment.
Dates in 2019: August 9 to 11
Stratzing Cellar-lined Lane Festival
The picturesque cellar-lined lane in Stratzing in the Krems Valley spruces itself up every year to host its cellar-lined lane festival. The local wine makers and cellar owners have a host of culinary delights and fine wines in store for visitors.
Dates in 2019: August 15, 17 and 18
Eichbühel Wine Festival
This most scenic wine festival in the Krems Valley is the one at the Eichbühel hilltop vineyard in Krustetten. For three days in August, visitors can delight in the wonderful panorama and superb wines.
Dates in 2019: August 9 to 11
Rohrendorf Cellar-lined Lane Festival
Every two years in late August/early September, Austria's longest cellar-lined lane (1,650 meters to be exact) stages the three-day Rohrendorf Cellar-Lined Lane Festival, an event known far and wide. About 30 cellar owners open their doors to treat visitors to hearty food and refreshing wines.