Wachau Valley, Austria

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Discover much more than just great wines from steep-terraced vineyards. Takes a short trip with Decanter from Vienna to explore this stunning riverside region.

Wachau fact file:

Total planted area: 1,350 hectares
Main grapes: Grüner Veltliner (52%), Riesling (16%), other whites (14%)
Leading viticultural towns: Spitz, Arnsdorf, Wösendorf, Joching, Weissenkirchen, Dürnstein, Loiben, Rossatz, Mautern
Main soil: Gföhl gneiss, a mineral-rich composition of migmatitic granite gneiss, quartz, felspar and mica, and parcels of loess

Introduction:

With a view overlooking the River Danube and a plate of homemade apricot dumplings in front of you, the terrace of the Richard von Löwenherz restaurant is the perfect way to prepare yourself for an exploration of the Wachau.

On a really sunny day, the water reflects a blue colour that might have inspired Johann Strauss to compose his famous waltz. Most of the time, the river is a subtle shade of jade, complementing the ocean of vines that grow on its banks and produce some of Austria’s most famous white wines. High above the terrace lies the imposing ruin of Dürnstein castle, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned on his return from the Third Crusade. It is worth the 20-minute hike to its peak, to enjoy the panoramic view and get your bearings.

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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