Friday, May 19, 2023

18th of May 2023 - Wachau Valley with wine tasting and Melk

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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