Midsummer in the apricot garden: In the midday heat, Daniel Mach dumps the bright orange crop into the trailer. The 30-year-old has a flair for fruit. “When the apricot is ready to be harvested, you can gently pry it off the tree with a gentle twisting motion,” he explains. He can feel exactly if the stone fruit is about to fall into his hand or if he needs a few more hours of sun. Because unlike other fruits, apricot fruits do not ripen at the same time.
Ad unit content_1
The trees gradually hollow out over weeks and are gently shaken every day. Young helpers pick up those that fall from the tree from the ground with buckets. Later, the apricots are processed into jam, roasted, nectar, chutney, brandy, liqueur and semi-sparkling wine, but also into apricot horseradish and apricot chocolate or served topped with bacon.
get there With the train finished Munich either Nuremberg to Krems, www.bahn.de.
accommodation advertising vines Guest House Nikolaihof in Mautern with attached Demeter cellar and restaurant, DR/F from 106 euros/night, www.advineas.at. in one Marillenhof For example, you can spend the night in one of the holiday apartments at Weinhof Aufreiter in Krems-Angern, with breakfast from EUR 76 per person/night, www.weinhof.at.
Eat and drink Matthias Pöchlinger Winery in Mitterarnsdorf, rustic tavern, www.poechlinger-wachau.at. The Gasthaus Prankl in Spitz has a terrace with a beautiful view, www.gasthof-prankl.at. Gasthaus Jell in Krems with country hall, www.amon-jell.at. restaurant Loibnerhof in Unterloiben with garden and smart, regional cuisine, https://www.loibnerhof.at/ Demeter-Restaurant Nikolaihof in Mauern, www.nikolaihof.at.
Activities Guided tour of the impressive Melk Abbey, www.stiftmelk.at. Take a walk along the Marillenweg in Krems-Angern, www.marillenweg.at. Guided tour of the Benedictine monastery in Göttweig, www.stiftgoettweig.at. Boat trip on the Danube from Krems to Spitz, https://ddsg-blue-danube.at. Spitz Maritime Museum, www.schifffahrtsmuseum-spitz.at. Crossing with the rolling ferry in Spitz, www.wachau-touristik.at. State Gallery in Krems, www.lgnoe.at. Wine tasting in the Wachau domain, www.domaene-wachau.at. Walk through the old town Durnsteinwww.duernstein.gc.at.
General information Danube Lower Austria Tourismus GmbH, www.donau.com DIA
Meanwhile, lunchtime business begins at the Aufreiter wine inn in the town of Angern. “What would you like to drink? Apricot spray?” asks Adi Tanzer, as his wife, Ilse Tanzer-Aufreiter, introduces the apricot dumpling school. They come with potato, curd or choux pastry, and just about anything. the world has its own secret recipe, he says.Some leave the pit in the apricot, others replace it with a lump of sugar, pure or steeped in espresso.
More about the subject
“Others fill the apricots with marzipan or nougat,” adds daughter Kathi, who joins them. This summer, landlady Ilse opted for a mix of potato and cottage cheese dough, a recipe from her mother Gertrude of hers, although she actually prefers the fluffy, airy consistency of quark. Because if the curd dumplings are collected and not eaten immediately after preparation, the mass turns gray unappetizing. Even the most perfect Wachau apricot, which, according to Ilse Tanzer-Aufreiter, should have a red cheek on the sunny side and a green Popscherl on the shady side, does not pull off this view. We call it “greaoarschert” in dialect, she reveals with a laugh, as diners on the restaurant’s patio enjoy the Wachau specialty with apricot sauce and butter-roasted breadcrumbs.
Apricot dumplings and spritz, i.e. nectar mixed with mineral water, are served in almost every restaurant between Krems and Melk in summer. At the Demeter Nikolaihof winery in Mautern, as well as at the Loibnerhof with alfresco dining in Unterloiben. Outside, around 100,000 apricot trees characterize the cultural landscape of the Wachau World Heritage Site in Austria. Vines climb the sun-kissed stone terraces and the wines, for example in the Wachau domain, are offered in the Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd categories. The Danube meanders through the valley. The excursion ship from Krems is currently heading to the city of Dürnstein with its characteristic blue church tower. The movie “Mariandl” was shot there in 1961, in what is now a bustling old town, and the appropriate folk song plays from the onboard loudspeakers.
Continue past the sleepy castle ruins to Spitz. In the pretty wine town with Renaissance and Baroque houses in the heart of the Wachau, there is a maritime museum that takes visitors on a journey through the history of Danube shipping. On display is a model of the last great sailing warship on the river, the frigate “Theresia”, which has been faithfully reproduced for many years. You can also see a train of boats being pulled up the river by up to 60 horses. This is called towing, and for this the so-called stepped paths were used on the shore. Today, cyclists pedal up these stairs. On the way back from Spitz to Krems, for example, you cycle through picturesque villages like Wösendorf and Joching, alongside terraced vineyards on one side and the Danube on the other. Fresh apricots and homemade jams can be purchased along the way. You put the money in the mailbox.
After an hour and a half, the Benedictine monastery of Göttweig appears, perched high on the mountain above the Danube valley. Up there, in the highest apricot garden in the Wachau, there are about 50 trees and saplings are growing in the “apricot garden”. The view from the top of the river and the gently rolling slopes is breathtaking. From the opposite side you can see the small church of Klein-Wien at the foot of the Göttweiger Berg, which, embedded in the beautiful landscape, looks like the layout of a miniature train. The Aufreiter family from Angern helps the monastery care for the apricot trees and processes the ripe fruit. Today, the pulp of the sun-ripened fruits is gently heated at the production plant in the valley and stored in 1,000-litre vacuum containers. One part is reduced to compote.
Apricot cake, apricot blank dumplings and apricot roasting fruit are frozen so you don’t have to do without the taste of Wachau all year round. In the farm shop next door, Katharina Aufreiter offers a range of apricot products and the children’s book “Lilli Marilli”, which she wrote herself. This year’s harvest season will soon be over and apricot growers will once again have managed to keep up with their delicate fruit. Because, as they say in the Wachau: “The wine waits for the harvest, but the apricot runs away.”
However, despite all the effort, the joy of work is felt everywhere. In the farm shop and in production, as well as in the restaurant and in the apricot garden during harvest. Daniel Mach is looking forward to being there again next year and picking the Wachau apricots off the trees.