Culi­nary Hike in Styria, Aus­tria

Walking New Zealand - - Walk Talk -

Lo­cated in the South­ern part of Styria, the Süd­steirische We­in­strasse (South Styr­ian Wine Road) is of­ten com­pared to Italy’s Tus­cany. Al­most no other Aus­trian wine re­gion has un­der­gone such dra­matic trans­for­ma­tions in the past 20 years as this re­gion, one hour south of Graz. Ex­quis­ite wines, wine tav­erns with en­chant­ing views, fine restau­rants and idyl­lic hik­ing trails make this off-the-beaten path re­gion a true de­light for walk­ers who love na­ture, food, and wine. The 44 mile-long South Styr­ian Wine Road runs from GlanzLeutschach –Gam­litz-Ehren­hausen to Strass. Take the “Glanzer Wein­tour,” a 6.5 mile long, well-marked hik­ing trail that is part of this road. Start your jour­ney in the vil­lage of Glanz. Walk up and down gen­tle hills pass­ing by vine­yards, en­joy­ing the sounds of the wooden, “Klapotetz’s,” a wind-pow­ered land­post de­signed to scare the birds away while the grapes are ripen­ing on the vines. Stop at ar­tis­ti­cally de­signed winer­ies and try the re­gion’s dry, crisp, fruity and aro­matic white wines with va­ri­eties like Welschries­ling, Gel­ber Muskateller or Sau­vi­gnon Blanc.“Mo­ril­lon” is the Styr­ian name for Chardon­nay. It is sel­dom aged in new oak and the creamy ap­ple fla­vor and re­fresh­ing crisp­ness make it per­fect to pair with the fried chicken and green salad dressed with Styr­ian pump­kin­seed oil. Af­ter a good day’s walk check-in to one of the many small inns along the way, run by lo­cal farm­ers and wine­mak­ers and watch the sun set­tle over the vine­yards while sip­ping a well-earned glass of wine.

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