Austria itself is such a beautiful and scenic versatile country, so I feel very blessed to live here. Two of my favorite regions are also only one hour away from Vienna: the Weinviertel and the Waldviertel, both parts of Lower Austria.
The Weinviertel (‘wine quarter’) is located in the northeast of Lower Austria, and is – nomen est omen – Austria’s largest wine growing area. The Waldviertel (‘forest quarter’) is located next to the Weinviertel on the northwest and includes also many wine growing areas, first of all the Wachau. So these parts of Austria are the places to be in late summer and autumn during the grape harvest.
Besides wine, those regions also offers a broad cultural spectrum and attractions. There are several ruins, mansions and castles which can be visited and which host musical festivals during summer. One of my favorites is the medieval castle Grafenegg where classics meets futuristic design. Its park includes a modern open-air concert hall called Wolkenturm (‘cloud tower’), which blends perfectly into the natural surroundings and offers a great experience for all senses.
Near to castle Grafenegg, the Arche Noah is located – an initiative concerned about the future of seeds and heirloom varieties. The Arche Noah owns a seed bank of more than 6.000 accessions of rare vegetables and grains – many of them can not to be found anywhere else. They also have a beautiful baroque garden where rare plants grow organically. It’s possible to visit their amazing garden and also to buy plants and seeds in the shop – something I’ll definitely do as soon as I have a garden!