TOWN AND COUNTRY
There’s no question: Vienna loves its wine and the traditions that go with it. And few areas of the city encapsulate Vienna’s enduring love for liquid cheer than sleepy, picturesque Neustift am Walde.
Straddling the western outskirts of the 18th and 19th districts and near the Höhenstrasse, Vienna’s scenic Wienerwald thoroughfare, Neustift am Walde retains a distinct village ambiance, despite being well within city limits. Almost frozen in time, its rural charm extends well beyond its small borders: It’s particularly noted for its annual fair in August, the Neustifter Kirtag, where Vienna’s politicians, C-list celebrities and spritzer enthusiasts come together. (You may also meet up with a few expats from the neighborhood, drawn there by the nearby AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL.) Ostensibly celebrating the tax exemption granted in 1752 by Empress Maria Theresia to local vintners after a string of bad harvests, some would argue they are really enjoying the excuse to dust off their dirndls and lederhosen, sample this year’s wine and, above all, celebrate themselves. On any other day though – especially during the summer – it’s a much quieter place, when Neustift am Walde turns back into a charming time capsule of old Vienna, located among some of the regions’s most beautiful vineyards.
WINE AND SPIRIT
So if you’re out for sushi or a third wave coffee house in Neustift, you’ll do so in vain. Staunchly traditionalist, what you will find are plenty of Heuriger (wine taverns) offering traditional Austrian cuisine to go with their own wines. Tracing its roots to a decree issued in 1784 by Emperor Josef II