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Austria

Excellent wine generates enthusiasm. And whatever you do with enthusiasm is generally successful.
[ PHILIPPE DE ROTHSCHILD ]

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Austria makes the most riveting wines in central-eastern Europe.

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Austria is a landlocked Alpine country that shares its borders with eight other European countries. It has a stable democracy, a modern economy and many grand cities with miles of surreal countryside. The country experiences all four seasons, with a continental climate in the east that has low precipitation, hot summers and moderate winters. The Alpine regions have high precipitation, short summers and often harsh and cold winters, leaving the remainder with a transient and mild climate. Visiting Austria means hours of walking, biking, trekking and seasonal winter sports. There are several world heritage sites, hundreds of museums, gorgeous national parks, and fabulous souvenirs to take home. It is the homeland of world renowned skiers, talented musicians and people who love to eat and drink. There are incredible restaurants and cafes, an array of music venues, a healthy film industry, tons of nightclubs and the one and only “Sound of Music,” tour. The country is charmed with Vienna, and its Opera House, Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. Salzburg boasts stunning baroque cathedrals and Innsbruck, the center of the Austrian Alps. Austria’s wine industry is also amazing. The vineyards are beautiful, the cellars are dusty, and the wine is some of the most unique in the world. Austria is a destination for those seeking adventure, or want to enjoy the country’s treasures.

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T h e i n d i g e n o u s w h i t e g r a p e , G r u n e r Ve l t l i n e r i s t h e l e a d i n g g r a p e i n A u s t r i a .

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and except for sweet dessert wines, are dry. The leading white wines are Gruner Veltliner, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Weissburgunder and Welschriesling. The red wines include Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt. There are four major wine regions: Lower Austria, Burgenland, Styria and Vienna. Vienna is the only major

Austria’s vineyards lie in the eastern half of the country where the summers are warm, the winters not too cold and the rainfall is adequate. Viticulture in this part of the world is said to pre-date the Romans. Austria’s first grapes are thought to be planted by the Celts. It was not until the 1950s that small groups of growers based in lower Austria, began to reform this tourist-focused industry by making some serious Austrian wines. Austria’s wine industry was shaken in 1985, when sweet and semi-sweet wines were discredited by the unlawful practices of a handful of merchants, who had added chemicals to their musts. But two decades later, with new blood replacing old, Austria’s wines are absolutely incredible. Austria is often wrongly assumed to be a social cultural subset of Germany. Though they share some similar characteristics, the wines bear little resemblance in taste to German wines. Austrian wines are fullbodied and show exceptional fruit notes,

G E R M A N Y, H U N G A RY & AU S T R I A

city in the world considered an actual wine region. Numerous commercial vineyards actually exist within the city limits. Lower Austria is the most important and shares a border with Slovenia. Burgenland and Styria each are climatically and geologically distinct, and are still producing all the leading wines. The country’s wine production is 80 percent white, with some thirty-three grape varietals, found planted among the wine regions. Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Cabernet Sauvignon can also be sampled in Austrian wineries. The glass manufacturer “Riedel,” is a tenth generation firm. Riedel is considered one of the finest crystal works in the world. The firm’s wineglasses are not only elegant, but have been engineered so that certain components in the wine are emphasized on the tongue, bringing out the best in the wine’s flavor. Not only do many leading winemakers, in all the major wine regions use the wineglasses, but Riedel stemware is found in the most expensive restaurants in Paris, London and Rome. Tafelwein and Landwein are fairly neutral and common table wines, with Landwein being the better of the two. Most of these wines stay inside of Austria or Europe. Qualitatswein, literally means quality, and must come from a single wine region that is made from authorized grapes that go through a quality control system. The wine can be chaptalized to increase the alcohol contents. Kabinett is a sub group, and is made from slightly riper grapes that cannot be chaptalized. Pradikatswein means wine with special attributes. Most of the top Austrian wines fall into this stringent category. The grapes come from one region only, and have specific winemaking guidelines that must be followed and tested for typicity. Spatlese, Auslese, Eiswein, Beerenauslese, Ausbruch and Trockenbeerenauslese are part of this sub category.

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.
[ E A R LY W I L S O N ]

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A u s t r i a ’s b e s t w i n e s a r e d r y w h i t e s a n d m a g n i f i c e n t s w e e t w i n e s

WELCOME

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history. Sightseeing is everywhere and can be found while wandering along the narrow, medieval alleyways, or within the walls of the Imperial Palace or historical squares. The shopping in Vienna is delightful, not because all the principal shopping-streets are close together, but because many shops are luxuriously appointed. Take home local specialties, found only in Vienna, such as sporting good items, extravegant jewelry, handcrafted furniture and delicious specialty food items. It is also the perfect place to begin an Austrian wine adventure.

Famous for Wiener Schnitzel, Cheese Danish, and Apfelsturdel, Vienna, the capital of Austria, is also and Europe’s cultural capital. It is a unique metropolis with a lot of charm and outstanding infrastructure. The vibrant city is clean and safe, and is an inspiration to artists, writers and those who appreciate beautiful things. It has been synonymous with music for centuries, and is home to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Johann Strauss. It is also home to the Vienna Boys’ Choir and Wiener Philharmoniker, one of the world’s top orchestras. It is a city of culture with a vast array of cultural attractions, from classical or experimental theatre, to film or dance, and exhibitions and concerts. Reguardless of the time of year, or how long you visit, there are always many things to see, do and explore. People also visit Vienna to relax at one of its many famous coffee houses, wine taverns, cozy cafes and award winning restaurants. Vienna is known as a city of art, which has produced and nurtured world famous artists such as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. It is magical for those with a passion for romance or an interest in

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Porcelain Factory & Lake Balaton
Visit the world’s largest Porcelain Factory in the town of Herend. Enjoy the Victorian pattern, the Art Nouveau and Hungarian style motifs that are all hand-painted. After your factory tour, you will have time for a snack and some shopping at the Porcelanium. Then continue to Lake Balaton, the largest fresh water lake in central Europe. A three-course wine paired lunch will be included before returning to your hotel.
Drink Wine, Live It!

Hungary’s Thermal Hot Springs & Spa Experience
Hungary is a land of over 1,000 hot springs, and enough spa facilities to accommodate 300,000 people at the same time. Spas and springs are located throughout Hungary, and some are as simple as thermal baths serving the local communities. Thermal waters from different springs vary in terms of the ailments they benefit. Treatments are designed for individuals who visit the spas and baths. Whether you want to relax or treat a specific body part, a day at a specialty spa is heavenly.

We can make it happen…. You just tell us when.

Northern Nature & Wonder Tour
Take a full day to see the lovely Szala Valley and its Fatyol cascade. Walk among nature and an open-air forestry museum. Your lunch will be a three-course, wine paired meal, featuring the dishes of Hungary. After lunch, your guide will take you to Josvafo and the Aggtelek Mountain Range, where you will have a tour of the extensive cave system. Enjoy the beautiful underground stalactite formations that are voted some of the best in all of Europe.
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