Time goes slow in Schilcherland

Supposedly time passes by slower in Schilcherland, Austria than anywhere else. At least this was claimed by people who spent some memorable time enjoying a glass of wine at a typical wine tavern a “Buschenschank“ right within the soft hills of south-western Styria and completely neglected time.

And this tradition of allowing time pass by over a glass of wine goes back a long way.  Already in the 4th century before Christ was the local grape-vine “Blauer Wildbacher” grown by the Celtic population in the area of Styria. Right up until today a special Rosé wine is produced from this very special grape. It dazzles (“schilchert”) in all different shades of red, tastes fruity and tangy and is only allowed to be produced in this area.

The Schilcher grows in a picture perfect landscape where one deep green hill leads to the next one and the people live an interesting mix of traditional and modern lifestyles. Next to ancient farmhouses is state-of-the-art wine architecture and food like a typical “Brettljause” can be enjoyed at an idyllic located wine tavern as well as regional cuisine. Thanks to the Mediterranean climate this landscape is called the “Austrian Tuscany”.

Not far from the former vineyards of Archduke Johann is the Rauch-Hof surrounded by a beautiful landscape. Cosy restaurants, a comfy outdoor sitting area and a gourmet kitchen greet the guests. Chef Karin Rauch uses only local ingredients: asparagus and pumpkins grow in the backyard, trout is freshly fished at their own pond. The complementing wine is served by owner and sommelier Willi Rauch.  The “Kulturwirtshaus” (culture inn) hosts a variety of versatile programs staring famous artists from all over Austria.  Those who want to stay longer will sleep comfortably in one of the 2 newly renovated farmhouses with idyllic rooms in wine-growers style. These are charming and individually furnished with solid wood furniture and include spacious bathrooms. The new wine-grower style room situated in the main building offers a large roof terrace and an elegant mixture of vintage and new furniture.    

Still in Schilcherland at Riegersburg, and around 1990 there was a master confectioner who thought that all the existing chocolate creations on the market are simply a little bit too boring. So after business hours he started to explore in the quietness of his company’s back room.

Josef Zotter explored exquisite hand-scooped chocolate and taste combinations that never existed before. Recipes like Pumpkinseed-marzipan followed creations like hemp-mocha and soon after that he established his own chocolate factory. Today, Zotter’s creations include inspiration and the love of experimentation as well as the high demand for quality: Organic and Fair Trade are implemented without compromise as well as the Pan-European unique “bean-to-bar” philosophy, meaning that at the chocolate factory production is directly from the bean. The results are multiple awarded product varieties which are illustrated by  artist Andreas H. Gratze who is a close friend.  With products as unique as peanut-ketchup-chocolate, At Josef Zotter’s chocolate factory there is no flavour combination which doesn’t exist.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>