Vienna Austria Part 2: Gruner Veltliner by Rudi Pichler Belvedere Palace

We continue last Monday’s Vienna visit (see post) with a visit to Belvedere Palace:

Belvedere Gardens Vienna AustriaPrince Eugene of Savoy had Belvedere built as his summer home on funds from defeating the Ottomans. The gardens stretch in orderly, endless fashion.

Thanks to small rooms and small collections, we can easily digest the medieval art, armor, sculpture, and paintings (the Klimt collection stunned us).  Both complexes manage to feel cozy yet extravagant.

Belvedere interior Vienna AustriaAnother Christmas market lunch (potato, cheese, onion bake!) allows us spend the day there. We hike at dusk to the fairgrounds to find the world’s oldest ferris wheel: featured in Orson Wells’ The 3rd Man:
Ferris Wheel Third Man ViennaBack at city center we find Mozart’s apartment.  We get unreal coffee nearby.  St Stephen’s Church stages performers outdoors and a light show flames above its fantastic altarpiece inside. Nothing beats the holidays in Europe.

St Stephens Vienna AustriaWe grab ingredients for dinner and a bottle of Austria’s famed grape: Grüner Veltliner.

Rudi Pichler Gruner Veltliner wachau 2011Rudi Pichler, Grüner Veltliner, Federspiel, Wachau, Austria 2011. €11.90

APPEARANCE: looks a pale lemon with slight petillance. AROMAS: smell clean, young and bright of fresh cut lawn, fennel, lime, lemon zest, white peach, orange blossom, and light honey. PALATE: feels dry, with extra acidity, some alcohol (12.5%), a lightish body, and edgy texture.  FLAVORS: taste very complex and rich with ripe lime juice, a lovely line of fresh fennel running through things floral and white peach. The medium plus length makes this very good (4 of 5).  Tightly packed with countless flavors makes Rudi Pichler’s Grüner Veltliner worthy but in 5 years, it should open out fantastically.

The next day, we plan on gorging even more art at the The Liechtenstein Palace and Royal Treasury (Vienna is the burbs for palaces). Just past Roman ruins, we catch the Spanish Riding School crossing the street:

Spanish Riding School Horses ViennaAfter listening to organ music in a quaint chapel, the Treasury completely wears us out. A sea of meandering glass cases reveals reliquaries, royal robes, Ottoman weapons, and a crib for Napoleon’s baby:

Napoleonic CribMentally warped, we sit down for formal Viennese coffee and lunch at the next museum. They have more variations on coffee than Starbucks ever imagined. The space wasn’t too shabby either:
Vienna CoffeeThe soup and coffees warm us. But once our server forgets us, we spend the next two and half hours in the Kunsthistorisches Museum. We soon realize, half our Art History books live here.

Fish FaceGemna AugustanaVienna KunstWe leave bleary-eyed. We extend our trip a day and save the rest of the museum for tomorrow.

It’s late. We grab bread, cheese and eat in line, waiting for 8 Euro tickets to Vienna’s Opera. The cheap tickets come with a price. We cram into standing room only with a crowd of hot, sweaty people. But we stand center stage and tonight is La Boheme.

Vienna OperaThe somewhat paint-by-numbers performances do not detract from the moody sets, beautiful music, and strange focus a day of museums and miles of walking provide us.


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1 Response to Vienna Austria Part 2: Gruner Veltliner by Rudi Pichler Belvedere Palace

  1. sand110 says:

    And now, I want to visit Vienna, drink all of those coffees, try that wine, and take a bit more time for Klimt and museum.

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