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Top 22 Wine Festivals

Wine is revered in Lower Austria as a cultural treasure. Consequently, the Lower Austrians celebrate their wine festivals intensely, sometimes in a very modern fashion as with the Carnuntum Experience, sometimes traditionally as with some of the fall wine events. A selection of events worth seeing is summarized here.

Young Wine Presentation of the Traisen Valley Vintners

Oktober. In the noble ambience of the hall of the Augustinian monastery Herzogenburg, which once appropriately served as the dining room for monks, the Traisen Valley wine makers present their new wines on Austria's national holiday. In addition to the young Grüner Veltliner, the most popular grape in the Traisen Valley, the early Rivaner, Pinot Blanc and other varieties will be sampled. The complete programme includes a buffet with regional specialties and live music.

Vinum Circa Montem Young Wine Sampling

November. They call their young wines “Dock”, “junger Fink” and “junger Z”. All of them are introduced at the 16th century well hall at the Göttweig abbey at the beginning of November. At 6 p.m. the vintners of the trademark union "Vinum circa Montem" (wine from around the Göttweig mountain) begin their presentation. In addition to these young wines from the southern Krems Valley cold delicacies from the region are served.

Klosterneuburger Leopoldi Fest

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Foto: Wolfgang Simlinger

November. The Klosterneuburg Leopoldi Fest has been held for centuries in honour of St. Leopold (1073-1136, Margrave of Austria, founder of the Klosterneuburg Monastery, sainted in 1485). Even in medieval times wine was distributed for the festival; today the Leopoldi Wine Sampling is the occasion to taste the products of the Klosterneuburg wine makers. The main attraction for many visitors is the amusement park for young and old at the Town Hall Square and above all the “Fasslrutschen”(slide on a wine cask). The slide takes place on a giant cask dating to 1074 that can hold 56,000 litres of wine. Originally it contained the levies from the small farmers to the spiritual lordship.

Kamp Valley Wine Night

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November. An elegant as well as gourmet approach to the Kamp Valley young wines is the Kamptaler Weinnacht (wine night of Kamp Valley) at Grafenegg castle. The Wine Route Kamp Valley on this occasion reviews the events of the past year and presents the best Kamp Valley wines. The focus of the event is the awarding of the Dr. Zweigelt prize for the best red wines from the Kamp Valley. Hosts from the region cater the food. Registration required.

Wine tour Weinviertel region

April. The biggest wine event of Lower Austria! The festival takes place along the 400 Kilometers (250 miles) of the Wine Route as it winds its way through the Weinviertel region. More than 250 Wine Route member enterprises (wineries, wine shops, wine taverns, inns and room renters) smarten up and make for a great spring festival around the new vintage wine, especially the Weinviertel DAC.

Traisen Valley Wine Tasting

April. Wine tasting is the best opportunity to experience the high quality of the local wines. There is plenty of time to chat, to walk through the cellars and to taste some of the really great wines – from the fresh young wine to the smooth classic wine to the full-bodied vintages the region is justifiably famous for. The Traisen Valley wine makers are on hand to taste their new vintage with visitors or to talk shop with the initiated. Each day at 2 p.m. free guided vineyard tours will start at the wineries.

Kamp Valley Wine Spring

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Foto: R. Herbst

April. The Wine Spring (Weinfrühling) in Kamp valley is the best opportunity to experience the typical establishments found in the area: prime vineyard locations, excellent wineries, romantic cellar-lined roads and cosy wine taverns. More than a hundred wine growers open their cellar doors on this weekend and invite to taste the new vintage. Additionally gastronomic and hospitality businesses offer culinary specialities and packages during the festival.

Wachau Wine Spring

May. At the Wachau Wine Spring wine celebrates great performances. This for two reasons: first, because on both days some 100 members of the Association Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus open their wine cellars to taste, talk shop and sell. Second, because many big names of the Wachau wine scene such as Josef Jamek, F.X. Pichler, Emmerich Knoll, Leo Alzinger or Joseph Högl use the opportunity to present their new vintages.

Spring Awakening at Wagram

April/May. Wagram wine makers begin their salute to spring (Frühlingserwachen) with a big wine festival in the castle Juliusburg in Stetteldorf, during which the winner of the regional wine tasting event will be chosen and celebrated. This is, however, only the beginning, because on the next two days there is much going on in Wagram: about 80 wine growers look forward to presenting their wines this weekend – and the inns along the wine route serve delicious menus harmonising with wine choices.

Tour de Vin

Beginning of May. Some 20 years ago 24 top wineries joined to form the association called Austrian Traditional Wines. The members of this elite circle have since set a trend with their spring event: since 1994 the Tour de Vin has been held annually. All traditional wineries open their cellar doors on this particular weekend in order to surpass the results of the previous year. You can go from cellar to cellar, talk to the wine makers, learn news at first hand and admire the cellars from inside.

Oldtimer Rides

Middle of May. Neither HP nor torque are of any concern at this Oldtimer rally, but a good feeling for time and an easy foot on the gas certainly are. The cars that take part in this vintage car ride in the Thermal region starting in Bad Vöslau have long had their “Sturm- and Drang” years. They have, after all, up to eighty years on their bonnet. In a special stage wine plays a key role – not so much as a quality beverage (the alcohol limit of 0.5 pro mille also applies to the rally pilots) but as a criterion for the knowledge and skills of the participants. From 7 a.m. on you can admire the beautiful vintage cars in the castle park of Bad Vöslau.

Retz Wine Week

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June. The Retzer Wine Week has been celebrated for more than 40 years, making it the oldest and longest-lasting wine fair in Lower Austria – and also the largest regional one: more than 200 wine makers from across the entire western Weinviertel are present in the romantic ambience of the savings bank garden. Here you can taste, compare und buy the best wines of the region, as the winners in each grape variety are introduced. In addition to savouring 700 wines you can look forward to many other rewards for palate and ears.

Baden Wine Festival

June. The venue of the eighth wine festival in the Thermal region is the Rosarium in Baden, where at the same time the Lower Austrian Garden Festival is celebrated. About 60 wine makers from 17 communities present amidst the blooming backdrop of fragrant roses an extensive selection of their best wines from the Thermal region. The fine wines are complimented by seasonal delicacies from the region and special entertainment.

Krems Valley Celebration of Wine

June. You are invited to a special wine tasting weekend in the Krems Valley. The Kremstaler Weinblüte (wine blossoming celebration of the Kremstal) takes place outdoors in the vineyards, where visitors can learn interesting things about the wine while strolling along endless rows of grapes. On both days the participating wine makers also open their cellars and invite you in for a tasting. This is a place for wine connoisseurs, as the wines at this time of year still possess their tender freshness – while the more mature ones have already developed their full maturity.

Carnuntum Experience

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August. The Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter (wineries of the Rubin Carnuntum trademark) invite you to this large festival with numerous exciting events – not only to delight the wine lover: the wineries have succeeded in soliciting restaurants, artists of many kinds and leading tourist promoters to join their festival. Visitors can look forward to 17 days of over 70 varied and enjoyable events – from high-quality wine tasting to children's adventure programs to a dazzling highlight of the festival: the White Wine Fashion event.

Art and Wine in Haugsdorf

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Foto: Irene Zöch

August. While the whole year centres on wine, on this weekend art takes over. Press houses and cellars of the cellar-lined road in Haugsdorf are transformed into galleries. A picturesque cellar serves as a backdrop for readings and concerts under the stars. Full-bodied red wines meet delicate brush strokes and fruity white wines meet earthy rhythms. Fine art is found in the depths of the cellars with the basement pipes, where selected red and white wines from vineyards around the village are ready for tasting.

Riesling Fest Weissenkirchen

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August. The Rieslings from the Wachau region are among the best white wines in the world. This has been fittingly celebrated at the annual Riesling Fest in Weißenkrichen for 40 years. In the beautiful setting of the Teisenhoferhof, the best Rieslings of the region can be tasted, savoured and purchased. To go with the wine are vintner's delicacies, specialities from the grill and cheese dishes.

Wine Cellar Lane Festival Königsbrunn on Wagram

The festival of the cellar lane (Kellergasse) in Königsbrunn (Wagram) is one of the most impressive of its kind. This is partly due to the idyllic Cellar Lane itself, shaded by numerous walnut trees – but the program is also widely varied: apart from being able to taste the excellent wines from the region you can stroll through vineyards, entertain your children and enjoy the extensive culinary offers.

Gumpoldskirchen Mountain Shoot

September. In Gumpoldskirchen the harvest starts with a bang: after a concert at the church square the procession continues to the reservoir tower, where the bell is sounded for the official start of the grape harvest season with firecrackers and free wine. That's why they call it “Gebirgsaufschießen” (mountain shoot). This term refers to the old custom in the Thermal region where the shooting took place not to disperse birds or intimidate grape thieves but to force the premature discharge of cloud storms.

Vintner Fest Poysdorf

Sepember. For more than five decades, the people of Poysdorf have been celebrating the beginning of the harvest with their guests. The launch takes place on Thursday with the official proclamation of vintage wine, where charming wine princesses pour out the first drops of this year’s grape harvest. In accustomed manner the “Poydorfer Kundschafter” (scouts of Poysdorf) satirize the political and social life of this wine town. Brass bands and music groups from the Weinviertel provide for the proper mood in the local cellar lane.

K & K Wine Autumn Jedenspeigen

September. The festival in the cellar lanes of Jedenspeigen in the southern Weinviertel region is one of those events that offer you a Kostglas – a sampling glass. It costs 8 Euro and lets you sample altogether 150 different wines. Also possible is a visit to the wine museum as well as to the castle Jedenspeigen, where the knights’ battle of 1278 between Rudolf of Habsburg and his challenger Ottokar of Bohemia is documented (a landmark in Austrian history). If you are here with your children, don't worry: professional day care is provided.

Wine, Art & Culture in Falkenstein

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September. The Falkenstein cellar lane is not only one of the longest, but with its carefully restored buildings, one of the most beautiful anywhere. No question either that the Falkensteiner cellar lane festival is one of the most impressive of its kind. There is much to look forward to: a number of delicacies (each wine family has its own specialty), lots of good wine, plenty of music, great shows in the cellars as well as a varied program including tours of the vintages on tractor, demonstrations of old crafts and a playground.