free run juice

sipping and stepping through styria

As with all wines, the land the vines grow in is critical to how the wines turn out. So I recently went hiking with Austrian Wines in honor of the eight Styrian Wine Trails that lead hikers through the vineyards, hills and thermal spas in the region. Sadly, we were just in upstate New York instead of Austria, but the idea was certainly the same and we got to taste through a bunch of Styrian wines (yes, even while hiking).

One of the coolest wines we had was a Schilcher by Strohmeier, which is a sekt (Austrian sparkling wine) made from the indigenous red grape Blauer Wildbacher. Incredibly vibrant with lots of savory pop to it, and only 11.5%. What we like to call a great breakfast wine.  

On the trail, we popped open some Schauer Sauvignon Blanc which was as crisp as the fall leaves. Excellent with Styrian pumpkin seeds, which are really common there.

We paired even more crisp Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays with a fantastic picnic they call buschenshank, replete with charcuterie, pickled vegetables, apple strudel and Styrian pumpkin seed oil that you drizzle over everything (even dessert!). 

Most Austrian wine I’d had before was Gruner Veltliner, but the Sauvignon Blancs like this Sattlerhof need to be put into your repertoire. Very lean and elegant, with lots of citrus zest but not overly pungent. And the Schilcher is just totally cool and fun.

Hopefully the next time I have some of these will be in Styria itself! For now, was quite happy to get turned on to more beautiful wines from the region.

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