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Domäne Wachau vineyards in Austria’s Wachau Valley

This is the fifth and final installment in a five-part series following JohnnyJet.com writer Cynthia Cunniff through her experience of touring Bohemia with Insight Vacations. Check out Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4—and thanks for reading!

On the road from Cesky Krumlov to Vienna, we made our way through the rolling greens of the Austrian Wachau Valley to one of Insight Vacations‘ newest stops—Domäne Wachau winery and its Baroque Cellar Palace, which dates back to 1719. The small palace has an energy that resonates with good times and a love of wine, for which it was built. The elegant, but warm palace nests above a treasure trove of Austrian wine in the dark and musty wine cellar and its tunnels below. The vintners are so in tune with the historic setting that they not only turn out large quantities of wines for the world’s enjoyment, but are also experimenting by using replicated Roman amphoras to create a completely natural wine (the Romans once ruled the area). Thus far, only the Rieslings seem to be a success.

Antique wine barrel at Domäne Wachau
Antique wine barrel at Domäne Wachau

 

Balanced on the cliffs above the Danube and not too far from the winery is the perfectly preserved town of Dürnstein, where we strolled the sunny river path up through an archway passage and into the flower-pot-dotted narrow cobblestone streets of beautifully kept medieval homes. We joined locals for a traditional sausage lunch and had the village to ourselves to nose around a bit after. The town is most notably known as the place where Richard the Lionhearted was imprisonned. Not a bad spot to be held captive.

On the hills of Durnstein, Austria
On the hills of Durnstein, Austria

Tip: Many local cafes have tables reserved for their regulars. Don’t be offended if you’re moved to another table, or if you’re ushered away from a prime table. It’s the proprietor’s act of appreciation for his neighbors (think of Norm and Klif on their barstools at Cheers).

Dürnstein, Austria
Dürnstein, Austria

This is the fifth and final installment in a five-part series following JohnnyJet.com writer Cynthia Cunniff through her experience of touring Bohemia with Insight Vacations. Check out Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4—and thanks for reading!

Domäne Wachau Baroque Cellar Palace
Domäne Wachau Baroque Cellar Palace
Durnstein, Austria surrounding countryside
Durnstein, Austria surrounding countryside
Terrace of Domäne Wachau Baroque Cellar Palace
Terrace of Domäne Wachau Baroque Cellar Palace
Elegant Domäne Wachau Baroque Cellar Palace
Elegant Domäne Wachau Baroque Cellar Palace
View from the Palace
View from the Palace
Into the winery below the Palace
Into the winery below the Palace
Durnstein, Austria
Durnstein, Austria
Interior of Palace
Interior of Palace
Vineyards of Domäne Wachau
Vineyards of Domäne Wachau
Domäne Wachau winery
Domäne Wachau winery
Antique wine pot
Antique wine pot
Antique wine barrel at Domäne Wachau
Antique wine barrel at Domäne Wachau
Grape-picking in the 1700s
Grape-picking in the 1700s
Domäne Wachau Winery
Domäne Wachau Winery
Roman style amphora
Roman style amphora
Heading to Durnstein
Heading to Durnstein
Wachau Valley, Austria
Wachau Valley, Austria
Dürnstein, Austria
Dürnstein, Austria
Views from Dürnstein
Views from Dürnstein
In the village of Dürnstein, Austria
In the village of Dürnstein, Austria
On the way to Dürnstein
On the way to Dürnstein
Hillside Dürnstein
Hillside Dürnstein
On the hills of Durnstein, Austria
On the hills of Durnstein, Austria
Typical dining in Dürnstein
Typical dining in Dürnstein

 

Cynthia Cunniff
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