We had the good fortune this year to spend 10 days in Vienna, Austria, with lots of side trips to nearby cities, like Budapest, and to little towns and villages like Melk, Gumpoldskirchen (shown here), and Heiligenkreuz. We’ve decided that 10 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in a new country. It’s long enough to get comfortable and appreciate all the things about the place that are better than back home (can you say “mass transit”?) but not so long that you come to notice what’s lacking. Needless to say, we had a blast!
Gumpoldskirchen is a town of about 3000 people located in the Thermenregion and about 20km south of Vienna. In keeping with the musical traditions of Austria, this town supports no fewer than seven choirs — each with several dozen members. And you’d sing too if you lived in this idyll-come-to-life! The village, like most, is church-centric with the vineyards rising up the hill behind the town. The Weinwanderweg starts just behind the church and winds up the hill offering the occasional park bench and educational placard on the history of the town, the vineyards, and the winemaking equipment.
While Austria is known primarily for its white wines, we found several reds that were positively stunning! Of special note were those made from the Zweigelt and St. Laurent varietals. Plush and heady. Complex, but not distractingly so, and still easy to appreciate. These were wines you could sit down to every night without getting bored. Gumpoldskirchen has been compared, thanks to it’s soil structures and climate, to France’s famed Cote d’Or.
We’ve come to discover that a great many things about Austria are understated. When we’d ask someone “Bitte, sprechen Zie English?” The reply would be, invariably, “A little, but not very well.” Our new friend would then proceed to converse more fluently than many of the people I interview at college recruiting job fairs. The same was true for the wines and the winemakers. When we commented on how much we were enjoying the St. Laurent at Heuriger Muth on Probusgasse in Vienna, the simple reply back? “We think it’s not bad wine at all.” Indeed! And the hospitality we enjoyed at Muth was every bit as good as it was at the finer dining establishments in Vienna. Just a little more laid back — and that was what we were looking for… 🙂
Please look here for more information (in English) about Gumpoldskirchen. Or Google it for lots of other relevant bits and pieces in a variety of languages…