It’s not storm, really, but Sturm, which means the same thing but also fermented grape juice, served all around Austria in September and early October and, if consumed in large quantities, making your brain a bit stormy. For whatever reason today I decided to visit the “cellar street” of Stammersdorf and landed in the middle of a huge Sturm celebration. Nearly all of the street’s numerous Heurigers were open, with the Sturm, wine and food served outside as well as in the wine cellars and in the Heurigers’ hidden gardens.
I don’t understand how I could have missed this event in the past and, to tell the truth, have never visited this Kellergasse before. Forget Grinzing, forget Neustift and other tourist-infested wine areas. Stammersdorf is where Austrians get drunk. There are no Chinese girls in Dirndl here and no bearded Sikhs selling wallets and heavy metal t-shirts; there is no need to queue up for half an hour to get a small beer in a can, and finding a table is not at all impossible. There are hardly any tourists, but best of all, the clientele is mostly young, creating a sharp contrast to some of the other Viennese wine fairs.
The Hexenhaus is situated at the very end of the street, and therefore was one of the emptier and quieter locations, sporting a very cozy garden. Its Hauerjause is a meat-only affair, representing a pig in four different forms: as Speck, Schweinbraten, Geselchtes and slices of a Stelze. Everything was very thinly cut, plentiful and very enjoyable to eat, although apart from the mustard and horseradish a “decoration” was almost non-existent. The meats tasted very fresh, however, and with an unusual wine (Zweigelt is normally red and not white) the overall experience was a completely pleasant one.
And, for sure, Stammersdorfer Kellergasse needs some very intense exploration in the nearest future.