Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Austria, Part III: Monday - a morning tasting and heading out of Vienna to the countryside

Monday morning, 4 days after my arrival to Vienna, I managed to make some time to go for a run through the city. This was my second and last run through Vienna, and I enjoyed seeing the city that way very much.

Afterwards, I joined a small group of others to attend the Women and Wine tasting, hosted by the female winemaker's group called 11 Frauen und Ihre Weine - "11 Women and Their Wine." What a friendly and beautiful group. The winemakers were charming and their wines were excellent. The tasting was held in a gorgeous old glass building in a park setting - it was like being in a solarium, and they hired a small band to play during the tasting. It was heavenly.

After that enjoyable tasting, it was time to return to the hotel, pack up, and board a bus to go visit the countryside. We were headed out toward the town of Krems, where we would be staying the evening, but first, we would visit a winery in the Wagram region and taste from three different producers.
This was a very modern winery and tasting room, nestled in the green rolling hills of the countryside.

After this tasting, we had some time to check into our hotel and take a short break. After that, we were scheduled to attend a party at Schloss Gobelsburg, an old monastery and winery that is about 2000 years old. The winemakers that are part of the Terry Theise portfolio in Austria banded together to make this wonderful party happen.
But first, a tour of the old monastery was in order:

They set up a party for us on the lawn - I felt like I was at a garden-style wedding reception. Indeed, this estate does host many weddings. They really out-did themselves here, making us feel really welcomed and pampered. There were wines galore, including some older vintages, and the food was amazing. It was a great way for us to get to know the winemakers and each other.

The following is a picture of the church which is just adjacent to the estate - it has this gorgeous steeple.

I didn't capture a picture of all the food, but I got this shot of the cheese plate. Everything was wonderful and exquisite. I had a really good time chatting with folks and enjoying the party. The day became more about the experience than the wine, and I was starting to learn how gracious and fun the Austrian people are. I also see them as who really appreciate beauty and the good things in life.

That was my Monday in Austria, and I have to say, it was a great Monday!


Samantha Dugan said...

First let me say, great pictures! I know you mentioned that it was hot but your photos are so clear and beautiful...not stupid gray like all of mine!
Second...running...you are running?? I tell stories about waking up, still drunk mind you and having to be in the car in five minutes and you are running....you are amazing.
I love those gatherings where you almost forget about the wine, funny thing is you will never forget those wines, when you taste them again you will remember that Monday with a grin, that is what is so wonderful about wine.
Lastly what were all those stinky boys doing at the Women in Wine party...humppft!

Nancy Deprez said...

Thanks, Samantha - first, you're right, when it is 80 degrees and sunny, the pics do come out more bathed in golden sunlight - just like in SoCal. Austria is definitely hotter than Germany, weather-wise.

Second, I was the only prude, I mean person, to not party after the "program" was over every night (usually 11pm). Suffice it to say that on these trips I am basically tired all day, and by 11pm, I do *not* come alive (like many nite-owls do!) I was always eager to crash. This group was also a bunch of party animals with much sausage and schnapps-filled evenings. Coincidentally, many folks got sick on the trip, missing some of the program, eg some of the last few days of wine tasting and visiting estates. That was too bad since some of the stuff at the end was amazing!

Hee, boys were allowed to attend the women and wine thing! :)

Samantha Dugan said...

You runners posses that thing...oh what is it called...you know, OH YEA discipline, I always get that and discomfort mixed up. (giggle) I think it awesome that you stay focused and get your rest on these trips. Much smarter than what the rest of us do....

Samantha Dugan said...

Forgot to mention, I was just kidding about the boys, I like boys...prefer they not be stinky though.

Nancy Deprez said...

Agree. Stinky cheeses, okay, but not stinky boys.

Thanks re: the discipline. I was lucky in Austria that we had some free time the first couple of days so I took advantage. The rest of the trip there was none of this getting up early business. :)

mjhughes76 said...

Nancy- I have to hate you, at least a little bit. I want to go to Austria so bad I can't see straight! It looks like you had a blast.....hatred. Just kidding.

Nancy Deprez said...


Just go!!!! You must.