A general guide to attractions in Styria - Steiermark.
What Styria is all about
Styria is a perfect destination for connoisseurs.
The word for “connoisseur” in German is “Genießer”.
The linguistic root for “Genießer” is “Genuss” translated it means enjoyment or indulgence. Genießen is to relish, to Savour, to enjoy.
These three words are most probably the most widely used terms in Styria!
So what do the people of Styria define as "Genuss"?
- to lean back to look at the greenery
- to savour a glass of good wine
- to chat with a friend or neighbour
- to just take ones time
Here are some of the tools they use to achieve this goal:
The thing which is called "Heuriger" in Vienna and Lower Austria is called Buschenschank ("bar in the bushes") in Southern Burgenland and South-Eastern Styria. This is where the winegrowers serve their own products without having to pay any gastronomy license fees.
as served in a Buschenschank
In 1784 emperor Joseph II passed a law which allowed wine farmers to sell their own products on their premises: The Buschenschank (wine pub, wine tavern) was born. Numerous Buschenschenken have survived to this day and are cosy places where guests can enjoy a selection of cold meals ranging from cold meats, local bean salad with radish in pumpkin seed oil to homemade bread and pastry.
as served in a Buschenschank
Drinks and food are extraordinarily cheap and tasty. You will get heurigen (this year's) wine and the products mentioned above, plus cheese and curd cheese made parfait.
You can order most of the products available served together on a plate, for one or more persons. This plate comes with additional sweet pepper, tomatoes, hot peppers, horseradish (called Kren) and bread. It is an extraordinary culinaric experience you might never forget.
What is it that makes the Buschenschenken unique? It is not just their hearty food, but also the quality of the Styrian wine which can be drunk in pleasant gardens. If you are lucky, the wine farmer himself will join you and reveal some well kept secrets about winemaking over a nice glass or two of wine.
Buschenschank signposts on the Wineroute
To drink, you will be served white wine, red wine, Uhudler, Most or Sturm (Federweisser). The last three are explained below at "Drinks", don't miss it!
Creative Buschenschank signposts in St.Anna am Aigen
When you decide to go to a Buschenschank, ask a local where and when a good one takes place.
In Styria and the Burgenland you will get exceptional good wine for little money. Try to visit some Buschenschank or some Winery and start trying and tasting right away, as the local Wineries will be happy to assist you in a professional degustation.
Zirngast, Burgunder brut
Being a special wine which must only be served in Southern Burgenland and Styria, you will not find it anywhere else. It is drunk cold, and though its appearance has some resemblance with rosé, it tastes entirely different. It has the smack of berries, after the uncultivated grapes from which it is made. This wine is supposed to be drunk - pure or with soda - together with friends, in a warm autumn evening, in the open air, having a nice talk and laugh on a candle lit table. Most Buschenschanks will provide you with those prerequisites; you still need to bring the friends, though.
This is an alcoholic beverage made of fermented fruit juice. It can be clear or clouded and can taste a little astringent. You can get drunk from it easily. Common fruits used for making Most are grape, apple and pear. It is similar to cider and perry. In wine making, Most preceds Sturm. One differentiates between Pressmost, the product of pressure applied to the fruit, and Seihmost, the liquid that naturally flows out of the fruit stacked in the press.
A fermenting grape juice of high alcohol content, Sturm is the stage following Most. This beverage is only on sale for a few weeks in the winemaking regions of Austria and only during the season of wine-making as it cannot be preserved. If sold in bottles, it is not corked as the fermentation process of the sugar is still in process. It is opaque, and off-white to greenish in colour. Depending on the stage of fermentation the taste can be very sweet. It is deceptively refreshing, and has a surprising punch - more often than not it also delivers also a punch to your digestion.
Gsellmann, Pinot noir, Goldberg
Wine and culinary encounters in a unique landscape!
- The landscape
Rolling hills with vineyards, forests and meadows and idyllic wine. Can be classed a "Nature Park" ...
- The wine
A wide range of varieties with globally recognized qualities, especially in the areas of Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat ...
- The Culinary Experience
Products from the region in the pots of the local cuisine. Where grow good wine, you usually also eat well ...
- The Local
Innovative, yet traditional. Outgoing and cheerful by nature. A South-Steirer will find time for guests and friends ...
Local Buschenschank - selling hot chestnuts
The wine year in Southern Styria
The young wines of classic style are now portrayed in a landscape whose fresh green appears as varied as the range of wines and wine tastings. From the Easter weekend until the beginning of June, the Styrian wine lover will find countless times the opportunity to taste ...
Spring in Styria
Warm, sunny days are ideal for long walks through the vineyards and river landscapes. If you feel hungry or thirsty, just turn in to the next Buschenschank to enjoy homemade specialties. Tip: a glass of Riesling to accompany the Styrian Brettljause ...
Summer in Styria
The time of storms and chestnuts, a series of Thanksgiving and Autumn festivals and harvest time. Colorful deciduous forests, hustle and bustle in the vineyards, the sound of the Klapotetz (a noisy wind wheel used as a scarecrow) and morning fog in the valleys accompany you on tours of southern Styria.
Autumn in Styria
As November dawns it is time to visit the wine cellars of the region. The first wine of the new vintage (the Styrian Junker) is ready to be enjoyed. Nature, however, is preparing for a well-earned rest.
Winter in Styria
In no province of Austria’s is there so much agricultural diversity in such a small space. From the alpine grasslands in the west to the vineyards in the south and east, either by farming specialized cultures or the complex refinement operations, there is no other region with such colorful agrarian pallet.
Steirisches Kürbiskernöl g.g.A Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil PGI
Unique, Styrian, dark green, a nutty fragrance and an intensive flavour, over recent years the trademark Steirisches Kürbiskernöl g.g.A. (Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil PGI, protected geographical indication) has conquered international cuisine as the jewel in Styria’s crown.
The development of the pumpkin seed oil is closely linked to Styria. As early as the beginning of the 18th century oil was pressed from pumpkin seeds in this part of the world, at that time seeds with husks were still used. About 100 years ago Styrian farmers began to cultivate soft husked varieties and finally grew the “huskless Styrian pumpkin seed”.
Growing Styrian Pumpkins
Steirisches Kürbiskernöl g.g.A. does not only taste good, it is free from cholesterol, rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Certain phytosterols in this pumpkin seed oil have a positive effect on the prostate gland and on irritable bladders.
Pleasure (Genuss) and health are united.
Styrian Horseradisch - not much to look at but has a remarkable taste
The area in which Styrian horseradisch is traditionally grown is in the southeast of Styria, particularly in the districts of Radkersburg and Feldbach but also in Leibnitz, Deutschlandsberg, Voitsberg, the vicinity of Graz and Fürstenfeld.
About 100 businesses in these districts grow this typical Styrian delicacy on approximately 300 hectares.
The prevailing Illyrian climate with its high humidity and high temperatures in the growing season provide Styrian horseradish with excellent growing conditions. But not the climate alone ensures the quality of Styrian horseradish. The predominantly heavy deep clay soil in southeastern Styria not only facilitates optimal development but at the same time confers the pungent sharp taste loved by many in Styrian horseradish.
As a result of the optimal climate which is predominant in the growing area the good reputation of horseradish from Styria has been known for about 140 years.
Scarlet Runner Beans of Southeastern Styria
Styrian Scarlet Runner Beans
The scarlet runner bean is cultivated predominantly in the districts to the east of the River Mur: Bad Radkersburg, Feldbach, Weiz, Hartberg and Fürstenfeld. It is the part of Southeastern Styria from the Styrian volcanic region to the spa region, in which the “Illyrian climate” influenced by the Mediterranean favours not only wine but also the Styrian scarlet runner bean.
Styrian Brettljause with a Scarlet Runner Bean salad
The scarlet runner bean made its way from the New World to Austria in the 16th century and over the course of time became a distinctive Styrian speciality.
The Southeastern Styrian scarlet runner bean is primarily used in salads and soup but also as part of delicious dishes in inns and in the taverns where the wine-growers serve their own wine.
Styrian Salad with scarlet runner beans and Styrian pumpkin seef oil
Some other delicacies deserve a mention too:
Pöllau Hirsch Pears
Pöllau Hirsch Pears - natural or distilled
Eastern Styrian Apple
Styrian Cheese from the Mur Valley
Steirischer Vulkanland Schinken
Ham from Styria’s Volcanic Region
Styria Volcanic Region Ham
The Thermal Spas
Spas in Styria: The "bubbling" Genuss!
Bubbling springs in varied landscapes, cultural treasures - and Styrian specialties. In the green Thermal country there is truly something for everyone there. And no matter what thermal spa you choose;
“Genuss” is assured!
There is an 18 hole golf course, the Lucullus bike tour and a wide range of facilities in the leisure park. In the spa itself, guests can relax in seven thermal pools, 12 saunas.
Splendid facades and historic arcade courts are witness to a 700 year old history. The thermal spa is just a stone’s throw from the old town and is a perfect place to relax and regenerate your body.
Fürstenfeld - Hunderdtwasser Hotel
Water plays a very important part in this town of which many fountains spread across the town centre give evidence. Fürstenfeld is also home to the biggest open air swimming pool in Europe. It is also a popular shopping town...
There are countless possibilities of getting to know the area around Loipersdorf. Visit the newly constructed thermal path “Kreuz & quer”, the power path, the Celtic tree circle or the 27 hole golf course.
Feldbach is a vibrant town which covers a range of interests from cultural events to shopping. The colourfully painted church spire glimmering from afar is a reflection of the town’s lively atmosphere.
The village of Bad Gleichenberg is characterised by empirical villas from past centuries and a thermal park which covers a surface area of 20 hectares. In 2008 the new thermal spa and spa centre, the “life medicine resort”...
Radkersburg lake and hill country
Here is a place where traditions and customs are still cherished and country life is fully enjoyed. Wine and pumpkin seed oil are only a few of the delicacies to be found in this area.