Home Sweet Home - Holidays at Lake Neusiedl

Stories from the Farm, 13.11.2017

Mörbisch am See is a rather small municipality on the shores of Lake Neusiedl, in Northern Burgenland. The village counts 2,300 inhabitants and is located only 50 minutes from my home. In my opinion, this idyllic spot is the perfect starting point for a holiday at Lake Neusiedl and its surroundings.

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A Home Stay - A Vineyard Stay

When I was at school, a trip to the lake was frequently on the agenda. Each year, we visited the region and all of its sights such as the national park, the Esterházy Palace, numerous wineries and, of course, the historic alleyways in Mörbisch. This way, we learned a lot about the region which was our home. I was in kindergarten when I first crossed the lake from Illmitz all the way to Mörbisch. This is exactly why this cooperation with the associations "Farm Holidays in Austria" and "Vineyard Stays in Austria" is so important to me! This is my home. The region I came to know and love in my early years. Even though, I love stepping on a plane to travel to the other side of the world and to stay in grand, luxurious hotels, I love my home country just as much. This is where my roots are.

As my blog contains far too few posts about my wonderful home, I will tell you a little more about it today!

Our Accommodation: Winzerhof Schindler

We stayed at the vineyard and winery "Winzerhof Schindler" during our research trip. An absolute recommendation! As their website says, the estate is a place "to indulge with all your senses and to simply escape from the daily grind. Here, you can take the time to switch off and relax in a stylish ambience." And they're really onto something there!

A holiday at a winery certainly has its benefits! Wonderfully situated in the midst of the vineyard-covered hills, you can go on great lake tours by bicycle or set out on country walks right from the doorstep. In the evening, you can enjoy a lovely glass of wine in the idyllic holiday home. Thanks to the personal atmosphere, we felt at home straight away. A glass of grape juice or wine was our welcome drink in the courtyard, surrounded by fragrant oleander. Then, we started our tour of the vineyards of Mörbisch. They had told us everything about grapevines, the current vintage and about what it needs to take care of a vineyard. Of course, we could see all the different types of grapes and were allowed to taste them as well. Therefore, we were well prepared for the wine tasting in the Schindler family's private wine cellar. More on that later.

In total, there are 15 rooms and suites in this winery. All of them are designed in a cosy farmhouse style. The thing we found most intriguing: Each room was named after a type of wine or wine region. The lavish winery breakfast buffet included regional delicacies such as local types of sausage, a variety of cheeses and home-made spreads. Everything was truly made with love! Our landlady and her mother-in-law were highly attentive hosts. Oh, I almost forgot! As we were leaving, they gave us a souvenir: a photograph of our stay wrapped in a brochure about the vineyard. What a lovely, personal gesture!

Our Agenda: Wine Tasting Session, Bike Tour and Delicious Food

Everyone who goes on a vineyard stay will certainly want to get familiar with the wine that's produced on site. At the Winzerhof Schindler, we could experience it ourselves. A wine tasting session and a guided tour of the vineyards and wine cellar was a must on our list. For us, it was fascinating to learn how wine is made and to trace this elegant drink back to its roots. In my municipality, we specialise in the cultivation and processing of apricots. That's why I'm familiar with the way schnapps or apricot spirit is made. But not wine. So, for me, it was something new. I found it really interesting to take a look behind the scenes and to learn more about wine production.

During the tour of the vineyard, Harald Schindler told us a lot about winegrowing. Climate and a good soil are natural prerequisites for viticulture. Throughout the entire year, a vineyard needs intensive care, as the vines must be trimmed and pruned, and the soil needs to be well fertilised. However, the work always starts with cutting the vines. This essential work is carried out in winter. After that, it's time for maintenance work and for tensioning the wires in the vineyard. Come spring, the leaves must be pruned. The land needs to be weeded and fertilised and the yield must be controlled. At the grape harvest in September and October, every helping hand needs a pair of wellies and shires to pick the fruit. The production of wine really is a very long and laborious process.

A Guest at Gut Zentgraf

Grape juice is lovely, but it should be enjoyed with food! That's why we also visited Bettina's lovely garden of rare plants. She's the owner, passionate cook and gardener at Gut Zentgraf, a winery in Mörbisch am See. Together, we went to the garden to pick ripe rare fruit and vegetables such as Mexican mini cucumbers (melothria), bell peppers, mini cherry tomatoes and yellow raspberries. We conjured up a delicious spread made of leek, herbs and nuts for our picnic at Lake Neusiedl. The area around the lake is also home to local taverns called "Heurige" here. They serve the typical snack platter ("Brettljause") with bacon, sausage, cold cuts, cheese, spreads and salad. Traditionally, it's paired with a "Heuriger", a bottle of the current vintage.

A vineyard stay in Burgenland is not only great for adults and wine lovers. It's also perfect for all those who are looking for a break from their hectic everyday lives and wish to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside. Plus, a holiday at a winery is combined with culinary highlights and a jam-packed programme of recreational activities.

A big thank you to the Schinder and Zentgraf families for the lovely days! We once again realised how delightful a holiday at home, in Austria, can be!

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