Styrian Wine Country

Our landlady Alice (who shall now be known as Nicest Landlady in the Known Universe) took us on another amazing trip – this time to Styrian Wine Country. It was terrific! We hiked through vineyards with Alice’s husband Josef Zelger, and her son Ulrich Zelger. (Oh yes, and the dog Fipsi (“whiny”) Zelger). All of the Zelgers speak multiple languages (probably Fipsi too) and are super good at identifying edible things in the forest. They politely pointed out walnut trees to me, then politely picked walnuts for me when I still couldn’t see the trees, then politely cracked the walnuts for me when I was too feeble to open them.

Then we went to the wonderful quasi-restaurant at the top of the vineyard, where we drank “Sturm” (young, still-fermenting wine) and tried to finish the most gigantic deli platter ever. Of course, it’s Austria, so everything was locally grown/raised and delicious. Even the weird things, like ground pork paste mixed with pork fat. The sun was setting over a beautiful valley of grapes, we were slightly tipsy, and the world’s friendliest Austrian boy was telling us all about different sizes of dogs. Two glasses of Sturm made me feel like I could almost understand him. It was a wonderful day.

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