The Heart of a Village

Location:Andre Heuriger
Address:Großinzersdorf 131, 2225 Großinzersdorf
Status:Open (last checked on 14 January 2023)
Eaten:"Veltlinerplatte," five 1/8 l of different wines (Weinviertel DAC, Gelber Muskateller, Chardonnay, Burgunder Reserve, Grand Reserve)

I am starting to realize that there is an entire Brettljause-rich area to the north of Vienna that is largely unknown to me. It is part of the Weinviertel, the region of Lower Austria that is responsible for almost a third of Austrian wine production. The presence of vineyards means that there are hundreds of Heurige scattered around, and a Heuriger more often than not means a Brettljause.

One reason I have not been exploring this area more thoroughly is its reachability with public transport, or rather the lack of it. There is a kind of a railway connection, but some smaller villages are only reachable by bus, and the bus may travel there every couple of hours only and rarer – if at all – on weekends. Moreover, the opening hours of the Heurige are not designed with bus schedules in mind. Take Andre Heuriger in Großinzersdorf, for example. It opens at 16:00, while the bus from Vienna arrives in the village at 16:15 and goes back one hour later. The next bus departs at 19:25, and if for some reason you miss it, you are truly stuck – either you walk to the nearby town and look for a Gasthaus to spend the night in or try finding someone to drive you to the nearest railway station.

On the other hand, once you arrive in a place like Großinzersdorf, you immediately understand why no one really cares about making it easy to reach. It is empty. It is so empty that it could provide a perfect set for a zombie apocalypse film, without zombies. You can spend hours looking for people until you enter Andre Heuriger and struggle to find an empty table. In my case, half an hour after the Heuriger’s opening, all the tables were either occupied or reserved. Forget the nearby church; it’s this Heuriger that is truly the heart of the village. And it has a very good Brettljause.

The “Veltlinerplatte” is actually very traditional, containing only headcheese, Blutwurst, Geselchtes, Kümmelbraten, Surbraten, Liptauer and rudimentary cheese. What makes it special is the quality of the meats, particularly the Kümmelbraten and the Surbraten. Not only did they taste extremely fresh, but they were perfectly cut: each slice was slightly thicker and significantly bigger than other restaurants normally serve, and that made quite a surprising positive difference.

Andre Heuriger is rather unusual because it does not have a buffet – or at least I did not see one. All the dishes and wines can be ordered from the menu, and get delivered to your table within minutes if not seconds. The service is both efficient and very friendly, and that must be another reason for Andre’s popularity. If there are more Heurige like this in this region (and I have no doubt there are) it’s time for me to start seriously studying bus schedules.

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