TOWN AND COUN­TRY

METROPOLE - Vienna in English - - CITY LIFE - BY NI­CO­LAS KRIS­TEN PHOTO CATHER­INE MAR­GARET IL­LUS­TRA­TION KARIN DREHER

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

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