The day started with a tour of the Nikolaihof Winery in Dürnstein
which is the oldest winery in Austria. With almost 2,000 years of history, Nikolaihof
is one of the first in the world to have begun working by biodynamic principles
according to the regulations of the Demeter Association. No herbicides, fertilisers, pesticides, or
synthetic sprays are used in the vineyards.
The grapes are harvested by hand, fermented without artificial yeast . Some of the wines are stored in big, old Austrian oak casks for up to 20 years. The winery also uses stainless steel tanks.
We were shown the old wine press which is not used any more.
After our tour we had the chance to sample some of the produce.
After lunch we had a scenic treat cruising down the
Wachau Valley situated along the banks of the Danube River. The
Wachau Valley is Austria’s most famous wine region and also a UNESCO World
Heritage site. I started off the
afternoon on the sun deck but it was so cold I retreated to the lounge.
The small vineyard plots in the steep terraces along the
Danube river are cultivated by vintner families through intensive manual work.
Melk Abbey is a Benedictine abbey above the town of Melk
on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube river, adjoining the Wachau valley. I decided to walk into Melk and photo Melk
Abbey from the old part of the town where I did a little shopping.
After dinner we had a Seventies party in the lounge which was great fun. Some people had made a real effort to dress up which put my floral headband and peace pendant to shame.
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