What is Vienna Wine Hiking?
There are many different wine festivals in Europe but Vienna Wine Hiking Days (Wiener Weinwandertag) are something really special. One of the unique things about Vienna is that it’s the only city in the world with such a great number of vineyards located within the city limits. It’s a home to more than 320 different vineyards spread on about 1,730 acres. Moreover, vineyards in Vienna are overlooking the city and this wine landscape can be hiked through three different routes with a total length of 25 kilometers.
On Wine Hiking Days all the vineyards are open to visitors so while this pleasant hike you can stop for a wine and home made snacks in each of them. After all, this hike is not supposed to exhaust you. Sipping outstanding wines and enjoying the breathtaking views are what the wine festival is all about. Doesn’t it make Vienna the best capital city for a wine break?
About the event
Vienna wine hiking days called in German “Wiener Weinwandertag”, take place every year on the last weekend of September. During those days all the vineyards are waiting for everyone, who wants to enjoy a bit of Austrian sun closed in a bottle. And the selection is really impressive. The wines are influenced by both, the hot and dry climate contributing to its maturity and the cool winds from the north giving it fresh and fruity notes. Beautiful wines reflecting local wine making tradition.
Originally, the wine from this part of Austria was very simple and sold straight from taps in wine taverns called heurige. Over the past years it has been upgraded to the true expression of the city’s terroir, with the most complex, elegant and mineral profound examples. Imagine beautiful hiking trails with vineyards on your way and your only issue is to choose the wine you like and enjoy spectacular city view from the hills. Just right there, in the mild Austrian sun between grape bushes. This is exactly how your Vienna Wine Hiking Days will look like.
You have three official hike paths to choose from
First option: Neustift to Nussdorf
Route 1 leads from Neustift am Walde to Nussdorf. In between are Sievering, the Wien Cobenzl winery, and Grinzing, all legendary locations in the Viennese wine and Heuriger tavern traditions. For those who prefer a small section as opposed to the full length of the Wine Trail, your walk can also start here.
Second option: Strebersdorf to Stammersdorf
Route 2 goes from Strebersdorf to the famous Heurige location Stammersdorf. The landscape is not the only impressive feature of this trail, which is 9.6 kilometers long. Numerous Heurige along the way offer a pleasant respite from the walk along with delicious culinary treats. Families can also enjoy a visit to the children’s farm at the Magdalenenhof (Bisamberg).
Third option: Ottakring to Neuwaldegg
Route 3 is the shortest route at 4.5 kilometers in length and starts at the picturesque at Wilhelminenberg Palace. The loop trail leads via the Sprengersteig and the Paulinensteig back to the Palace. Here as well, there are opportunities to recharge along the way with some good food and wine of course.
My favorite wine path
Except the official hike paths you can always make up your own one to enjoy the festival your way. My personal favorite route is maybe not the longest one, but it definitely gives all the best from the event.
First you need to take the tram “D” from the city center and depart at the very end of the tram route. You will see many other people leaving at this stop. Than start to climb up the little street that will soon turn into a vineyard on the hill. On your way you will spot signs “Weinwandertag” (Wine Hiking Day) so you can simply follow them.
After a short hike through the vineyard you will spot a little wooden house, this is your first stop called Windischbauer. The house is a small, temporary wine bar that serves also some local snacks. This place is open only for the Vienna Wine Hiking Days so there is no infrastructure around. You will find there a casual atmosphere, kids running around and people enjoying wine in the sun. Believe me, it all makes it really hard to leave.
Once you are ready to explore next place, just follow the main hike route. After several hundred meters you will find yourself in another cool wine place called Wieninger am Nussberg. This one has more developed infrastructure like wooden tables and benches and more food options to choose from. This wine spot is open also during the whole summer season and offers the best view.
Next two places are just few minutes walk away, along the main hike path – Mayer am Nussberg and Sirbu. Both also serve delicious wines accompanied by cold and warm food and both are open during the whole summer season.
Most of the vineyards offer blankets, benches or even sun beds. I always carry my own blanket just in case they will run out of them what happens in hours with the highest traffic. Also, having your own blanket allows you to throw a little picnic at any spot in the fields.
How to prepare for Vienna Wine Hiking Days
First of all, you do not need any special gear or hiking boots. Of course, high heels for walking through the vineyards are not a good option, but any other flat shoes are more than fine. I usually wear converse shoes or flat boots.
Now lets mover to your outfit. You can wear whatever you want but I would highly recommend you a traditional Austrian outfit – drindl (traditional dress) for ladies and Leatherhose (leather trousers) for man. Dressing up is not only great fun but I treat it also as a way to express respect for local traditions and historical costumes. There are many Austrians celebrating traditional wardrobe and surely you will not be the only one dressed up like this. To avoid spending a fortune for a new outfit simply go to the first second hand where you will get your Austrian total look for a couple of euros.
Wine lovers cannot miss also another Austrian must see place, Wachau Walley located only 1 hour by train from Vienna. Read how to Wine and Bike in this rustic area dotted with world wide known vineyards.