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Wineries and best way to see Wachau Valley (Danube) -

I'm looking for recommendations for wineries that we can visit by bike and best itineraries for a day on bikes along the Wachau valley. My Husband and I will be staying in Melk for 2 nights Friday May 10 - Sunday May 12. On Saturday we would like to bike from Melk and stop at a couple of wineries to taste wine along the way. We do not have any specific types of wine we would like to try as we like all wines!

My next question: should we bike roundtrip or bike one way and bus/boat the way back. My initial thought is to bike from Melk to Spitz, Weissenkirchen or Dürnstein, as these are the 3 towns that have a bridge to cross over the river. We can then ride back on the other side of the river. Our other option would be to bike all the way to Krems and catch a ride back, as I think biking both ways would take too long. We do have a car though and will be driving to Vienna on Sunday, so we could drive through Krems on our way there. Possibly we could drive the car to another town and bike roundtrip from there?

I would love to know your recommendations on how we should best visit this area. We are open to any combo of bikes/car/bus trips to help us best see the area!

Thank you in advance!
Alex

Posted by
5078 posts

Back in 1999, we rented from the train station in Vienna and rode, over several days, to Ybbs. This was in late April, and the little wine huts we expected along the bike path weren’t operating then. We didn’t visit any wineries, so I don’t have recommendations, but white seems to be the predominant style, and Heuriga (young wine, refreshing but not like a longer-aged wine) is something worth trying.

I recently learned that the train system no longer rents out bikes and lets you turn them in at another station along the way, but if you decide to ride one-way, going back with your bike by train could still be an option, too.

Posted by
4376 posts

A few thoughts:

  1. Biking and drinking is not a good combo
  2. Wineries are best accessed by car as they are not on the main road.
  3. There are no bridges crossing the Danube in Spitz, Weissenkirchen or Duernstein. There are ferries.

Here is a copy of some notes from an Austrian friend regarding wineries:
WEINGUT KNOLL----in Unterloiben, famous wines and an excellent Restaurant "Loibnerhof"
DOMÄNE WACHAU----Dürnstein: the only cooperative in the valley. Great selection of good wines.
WEINGUT SCHMIDL----just 200 meters down the road--Organic wines-good.
FX PICHLER----Dürnsein: the star of winemakers. Very modern and sterile-but good wines, pricey though.
next village is WEISSENKIRCHEN:
lots of great HEURIGEN there.
WEINGUT PRAGER: Famous Winery, great wines.
Next village Joching:
WEINGUT JOSEF JAMEK--the godfather of winemaking in the valley- good wines and good restaurant
WEINGUT HOLZAPFEL----courtyard with the Restaurant on a sunny day fantastic.
Next village Wösendorf:
RUDI PICHLER---a new star, very nice wines, expensive.
Next village Spitz:
WEINGUT HIRTZBERGER: the new Number One of winemakers.
WEINGUT LAGLER: Nice wines, great views, nice hotel.
These are just a few of the best from more than 500 wineries in the valley, but there is a winery on every corner.

Posted by
5078 posts

Assuming that you’re going to take the tasting slow and easy, and not be biking while impaired, and that you won’t have a “designated pedaler,” one other thing you might try is a glass of radler, which literally means “cyclist” in German. It’s half beer, half lemonade, so it’s refreshing and has half the alcohol of a full beer. I liken it to Austria’s answer to Gatorade. Prost!

Posted by
1393 posts
  1. Biking and drinking is not a good combo
  2. Wineries are best accessed by car as they are not on the main road.

Driving and drinking is an even worse combo.

Posted by
4376 posts

I agree, but at least with a car you can have a sober driver.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks all!

I did not realize that to cross the river would require a ferry- thank you for that info! And yes, me on a bike is already a little unsteady, so we will be taking the wine tasting very easy :).