Retz in the Weinviertel
At the beginning of January we were in Retz for a few days Weinviertel in Lower Austria. Das Hotel Althof in Retz invited us to get to know his new vintner room. There you can also go on holiday to Austria's wine-growing regions in winter. The hotel alone would have been enough to make us feel at home in Retz in the Weinviertel. Almost everything revolves around wine: the wine cuisine in the restaurant, where the right wine is served with every course. In the vinotheque, where we were allowed to taste the wines of the region. In the VinoSPA, where we could indulge ourselves with wine products. And last but not least in our vintner's room, where we even had our own grapevine in the room and a wine cabinet full of wines from the Heinzl winery. There is hardly a better way to experience the region! But Retz in the Weinviertel has even more to offer, and we present some of them to you here. We lace ours Winterstiefel, and let's go.
What does Retz in the Weinviertel offer its visitors in winter?
In winter, not all the attractions of the city of Retz are open, so we limit ourselves to a tour of the city center around the centrally located city hall of the city. From its tower you have a great overview of the city and the surrounding countryside with its vineyards. With 128 stages, however, the ascent is too exhausting for me, especially because we've already seen some 300 levels up and down in the sights
Experience cellar in Retz in the Weinviertel
had laid back. It is a labyrinth of underground chambers and passageways that vintners have dug into the sandy soil beneath the city for centuries. The sand comes from a sea that was once in this region. We can even scrape the fine sand out of the walls on our tour through the cellar worlds of Retz.
Despite the crumbly building material, the tunnels and chambers have existed for centuries, which is also due to the high humidity that prevails in this underground tube system. We are on our guided tour through the city's underworld for around an hour and a half. Its entrance is very close to the parish church. We are glad that we have a guide with us, otherwise we would quickly lose our bearings underground. The adventure cellar is also not accessible without a guided tour. The winemakers used to store their wines in these cellars at constant temperatures of around 10 degrees Celsius. Ripe wines are stored here. On our tour, however, we only see a wine cellar with bottles thickly covered with dust, which are kept for special occasions.
Exploring Retz in the Weinviertel underground
The basement's entire passageway system is about twenty kilometers long, much longer than the streets in the city above. In addition, the cellars reach down to three storeys deep, and we cross them uphill and downhill. Again and again new chambers open in the walls, in which the history of the Retzer wine is explained. This goes back to the Romans and also contains such dramatic chapters as the Hussite Wars.
Below the town hall we can take a look up to the town hall square, which is a few meters above us. We make a few more detours into further rooms, before finally reaching the earth's surface after the two longest stairs with 58 and 81 steps in the wine bar of the Hotel Althaus. Afterwards, we conclude our tour through the underground cellar worlds of Retz with a wine tasting of regional Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Gris or a young vegan.
During our tour under the earth, it has started to snow, and there are already a few inches of snow. So we get in the car for the short drive
Located just outside the village on a hill and also offers a beautiful view of the surrounding vineyards. Meanwhile, dense snowflakes fall on the vines. The landscape is white and brown, and the windmill fits in perfectly. The miller opens the mill for us. In winter you can visit them by appointment. It is open daily from May to October. It is interesting in any case, because it is the only still fully functional grain mill in Austria. And she is also famous! Numerous films were filmed here: the Empress's courier - Klaus Jürgen Wussow in his young years - was busy with his adventures around the Retz windmill. Donald Sutherland shot scenes for a film version of The Three Musketeers. And Trenck the Pandur, whose story was filmed with Hans Albers, also lived not far from here in Brno in Bohemia.
The mill looks back on an illustrious past. But the present is also impressive: in 2010 it was restored by Dutch mill farmers and grinds grain as ever. There is also a vinotheque with a wine tavern, where we get bread and wine. The miller's wife baked the bread herself. If you want, you can learn how to make your own delicious nut bread in the mill bakery in summer. A visit to the mill is worthwhile in every season.
On a walk through Retz we discover
just steps from the Town Hall Square. The bicycle museum, which is located in it, however, is closed in the winter months. It is open daily from May to October. In winter larger groups can visit by appointment. But we are alone on the road and look at it from the outside. On fresh snowy roads we then walk under old deciduous trees around the castle and reach the castle park, through the avenues to direct the views into the distance.
And who knows? Maybe we will visit Retz again in summer. Because there is more to discover here.
Hotel Althof Retz *
Adventure cellar Retz
The guide meets at the information office in the main square 30 in Retz. Opening hours and current admission fees are available to you here .
You can book the winter inspection of the Retz windmill here by phone: Tel. 02942 / 2700
The opening times in summer you will learn with this link.
Bicycle Museum Schloss Gatterburg
The museum is open from May to October from 14.00 to 17.00. In winter by appointment. Detailed information can be found here.
You can find the travel reports of our travel blogger colleagues about our trip to Retz here:
Source: own research on site. We thank the Hotel Althof Retz for the friendly invitation to Retz in the Weinviertel. However, our opinion remains as our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline