Grinzing and the Heurige
It goes back to Empress Maria Theresia, who released a decree for wine producers, that they may sell their wine and snacks in their gardens to people walking by. But they were only allowed to offer their really own products and nothing else and only for some weeks in the year.
This decree is still valid today!
The "Heurige" means the young wine of this year. To go to the "Heurigen" actually would mean: let's go to have a glass of the new and young wine. And so the name was customized also for the "taverns". Another name is "Buschenschank" what would mean "bush-tavern".
This name leads back again to the decree of Maria Thresia. To be recognized as this kind of tavern the entries had to be marked with a pine boughs hanging over the door, and a lantern with light on or off to signalize if it's open or closed.
A typical Heurige is a tavern with outdoor seating at picnic tables in an enclosed courtyard, under a grape arbor, with the stars visible through the leaves. This year's wine is served from the pitcher in glass mugs, with a pitcher of mineral water to prevent hangovers or to make a gespritzer (wine spritzer).
The most well known Heurigen you can find in the 19th district of Vienna - in Grinzing. This is usually where most of the tourists go.
And it is an absolutely must to go to a Viennese Heurigen.
Maybe not for the wine, but especially for the traditional music - Viennese waltz, operettes and the typical "Wienerlieder" (Viennese songs) - and it is a possibility to get closed to the people, their habits, mentality and way of living. And it is guaranteed a nice experience.
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