Heurigenjause © Danube Lower Austria Andreas Hofer

About the Mariandl, the wine and the apricots - On a pleasure tour "in the Wachauerlandl".

On a pleasure tour "im Wachauerlandl

When there was no Internet, no Netflix and no smartphone, we sat as kids on the weekend afternoons in front of the TV and were delighted with old black and white home movies. Sometimes they were already in colorful, but the content was the same: Simple stories with happy people in beautiful Austrian countryside, very often in the Wachau. Then as now: I love Austrian homeland films and even as a child and teenager I was particularly taken with "Mariandl aus dem Wachauerlandl". I still stand by it today: I know all three versions (the post-war film "Der Hofrat Geiger" from 1947 as well as the versions from the 1960s with Conny Froboess and Peter Weck) by heart, still do.

So I can't help but give my nieces, nephews and accompanying dogs important information on family trips to the Wachau , such as: "Look here, at the fountain in Krems-Stein, Conny Froboess watered her horse there as Mariandl", or "From here is the same view as from the bench, where Paul Hörbiger and Maria Andergast sat" or even more exciting: "Here under the Dürnstein monastery, directly on the Danube, Peter Weck's movie car arrived". Well, I admit - these stories are of little interest to kids nowadays, but the Wachau is a great film set, even today - including the film set for the adaptation of Mankell's "The Return of the Dancing Teacher".

Stay at the vintner's, sit in the guest garden near the Danube, take a tour with the winegrower through his vineyards or simply stop at the Heuriger, drink a glass of Wachau DAC and eat some sandwich spreads: The Wachau is simply a picturesque and enjoyable feel-good region - especially in the warm months. And the filmmakers knew that just as well after the war as they do today. The "Starry Night in the Wachau" also enjoys immense popularity on TV - precisely because of this breath-taking backdrop in Rossatz with a view of the blue church tower of the Dürnstein Abbey. And those who spend the night in the Wachau at the vintner's, in a hotel in the vineyards or at the campsite, always get this backdrop of steep vineyards for free. Which brings us to wine, the epitome of what the Wachau has always been and still is. Besides the "Mariandl from the Wachauerlandl".

The Wachau wine

The wine-growing region of the Wachau - the narrow Danube valley between Krems and Melk in Lower Austria - stands for steep terraces and quite incomparable wines, which has long found its lovers beyond all Austrian borders all over the world. Since the 2020 vintage, they may also be declared here as "Wachau DAC". A wine-growing region with the status of a DAC area ("Districtus Austriae Controllatus") - this means that the focus of the Wachau is on two specific varieties, namely Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, and this status is a special designation that has already been awarded to 15 specific DAC wine-growing regions in Austria. Top winemakers and top restaurateurs can be found in the Wachau almost at every turn - on both sides of the Danube. The well-known Vinea brands, namely Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd, are particularly characteristic Wachau wines that have been marketed since 1984: Dry white wines without enrichment or noticeable influence of wood. The Wachau has 155 main and subrieden - we can not know all of them, but especially famous is the 1000 Eimer Berg in Spitz. Whereby we would be again with the Mariandl of 1947, because there the Mr. Hofrat Geiger has at that time into the very first Mariandl verschaut, in Spitz on the Danube. More technical information about Austria's most famous wine region can be found online at Österreich Wein.

The Wachau apricot

As far as I remember, the apricot or the enjoyment of the same does not appear in any Mariandl film. However, the apricot blossom in the Wachau is usually every year in spring truly a tourist "bestseller": bus groups and carloads of people want to be there when the apricot blossoms of more than 100,000 apricot trees are fragrant and make the landscape even more picturesque with their white bloom. In 2020, unfortunately, it was not so far with the apricot harvest in July: eight very severe frost nights in March and April have destroyed the long-awaited harvest this year to 90% - for the fruit growers a "total failure". The apricot products, however, are still available: chutneys, jams, jams, noble brandies or the highly sought-after apricot liqueur in various versions and much more - these and other regional souvenirs have enjoyed great popularity during a trip to the Wachau for decades.

The Wachau apricot is a protected designation of origin for apricots from this region. From 1890 the introduction of the apricot as fruit. Since then the apricot cultivation has been an indispensable pillar of the Wachau economy and tourism. People drink an apricot schnapps after dinner, have a few apricot dumplings for dessert and bring home a liqueur or a jam. Genuine from the Wachau, the home of the apricot. Although, quite honestly, elsewhere in Austria we also have plenty of apricot harvests in normal years. But the Wachau apricot, that's just here, because: Only products from producers who have been cultivating and producing the varieties common in the Wachau region for more than 60 years are allowed to bear the "Original Wachauer Marille" seal.

And also the events around the Wachau products, wine and apricots are virtually never-ending in "normal" tourist years: Wine Spring, Wine Autumn, Wine Baptism, Marillenkirtag, Wachau Gourmet Festival - almost every municipality indulges its products and its incomparable landscape with numerous events every year.

Personally, what I miss among the events is a summer cinema with the Mariandl films in a continuous loop - perhaps in Spitz directly on the Danube. Wouldn't THAT be an idea for the next season?

Shopping tips for the Wachau apricot - A selection
Wine Experiences and Wine Culinary in the Wachau - A Selection
Delicious souvenirs from the Wachau region


Memory list for travel planning
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