After spending a few days enjoying all the things to do in Graz I wanted to explore more of what Austria had to offer. If you’re into wine, beautiful scenery and amazing food South Styria is the perfect place for a weekend trip from Graz. I spent three days and two nights enjoying the South Styrian Wine Road. Here is my itinerary to help you plan your own getaway!
Thanks to Visit Suedsteiermark and Graz Tourism for hosting myself along with Christina from Happy to Wander, Suzanne from Travel Bunny and Danielle from The Thought Card in partnership with the Propel Conference.
Weekend Trip From Graz: How to Get to South Styria
From Graz, Southstyria is a 45-minute drive or you can take the local train. Based on my itinerary we took the train from Graz to Leibnitz. It is very easy to take the train within and throughout Europe, here are some reasons why.
South Styrian Wine Road Itinerary
Weekend Trip from Graz Day One: Schloss Seggau and Buschenschank Tinnauer
Leave Graz mid-afternoon and head to Leibnitz to enjoy the Schloss Seggau, often referred to as the Seggau Castle. It dates back to the 12th century and is also home to a hotel and 300 year old Episcopal wine-cellar. Arrive early enough to start your wine tasting journey of the castles own in-house made wines at their on-site wine shop.
In the evening have dinner at Buschenschank Tinnauer, a local restaurant which has been owned by the same family for generations. As it’s a small family business you’ll most likely be serviced by Martin Tinnauer, the owner of the restaurant. If you’re interested he will explain the history of Southstyrian traditional cold meat meals. Sit outside and enjoy the view of astonishing hills and vineyards.
Weekend Trip from Graz Day Two: Wine Tasting, Slovenia, and Pumpkin Seed Oil Making
For my first full day on the South Styrian Wine Road I had breakfast at my hotel before arriving at Vinofaktur Genussregal where my group was immediately poured glasses of Rosé. However, we hadn’t only arrived at our first winery, I’d go as far as to say it’s a museum.
We got a private tour where we learned about the wine industry in Austria and specifically South Styria. The tour was also our first introduction to learning about the oils produced in the area and this regions famed pumpkin seed oils. What fun would learning about them be if we did get to taste them, there are so many samples available to try. Not only oils but honey as well. I never knew there were different types of honey dependent upon the bees but we were able to try four different kinds.
Meat is huge in Austria and if you’re a meat eater you’ll be happy to know trying the infamous cold meats is also an option here. I don’t eat beef or pork but was very interested in learning all the things made from pigs. Items like medication capsules, shampoos, needles, ceramic glasses, bullets, candles, wine corks, matches, cigarettes, and more are made from various parts of pigs.
We started our visit with rosé and we would finish it with another tasting or both red and white wines. If you want to stock up on wine, this is the place to do it. There is a whole warehouse full of wine for purchase.
Lunch at Landgasthof Wratschko
After a wine and history filled morning we had lunch at Landgasthof Wratschko . Here we had another meal special to the area, Backhendl. Backhendl is the areas special fried chicken and it was delicious!
Our post lunch schedule was supposed to include walking one of the wine hiking trails. Unfortunately, the rain was non-stop throughout the day so we wouldn’t be able to complete this. However, we still continued to enjoy many glasses of wine. We headed to Kästenburg Winery which has opened in 1638 and continues to be ran by the same family. Six generations later the wine production is handled mainly by Jakob Jakopé, the youngest of his 3 siblings at 21.
Jakob gave us a tour of the cellar where their award winning wine is aged. He also showed us the vineyards on the property while pouring us several glasses of wine to try.
Heart Shaped Road in Slovenia
Since it was still raining we added a nice detour to our itinerary and headed to Slovenia. Austria and Slovenia border each other and the imaginary line that separates the two is on the road. So as we drove to Dreisiebner Stammhaus, half of the car was in Austria while the other half was in Slovenia. I was sitting in the middle I was technically in two countries at one time! So why were we driving to Slovenia? The restaurant I mentioned overlooks Slovenia’s famous heart-shaped road.
While we didn’t eat at the restaurant since they so graciously allowed us to come on their property and take photos we gave a 2 Euro donation. This is typical for anyone who wants to visit and take pictures, just pay on your way out.
The Resch Pumpkin Seed Oil Press
While wine might be the main focus of most people’s visit to South Styria, the pumpkin seed oil industry is just as big here. We had the pleasure of visiting the Resch Pumpkin Seed Oil Press where we got a private tour from 5th generation producer, Bernd Resch. His whose family has been producing oil since 1842 and he currently does it alongside his dad.
He showed us the entire process beginning with milling or grinding the seeds, followed by mixing in water and salt. Afterwards the mixture is boiled at 180 degrees and then pressed so the oil comes out. The leftover press is fed to the cows! You can get a tour every Tuesday from 9AM-8PM. While the pumpkin oil here is amazing I’d be holding on to a selfish secret if I didn’t tell you about the pesto they also make. Just buy it!!
Back to Kästenburg Winery for Dinner
After a long day of exploring it was time for dinner and we headed back to Kästenburg Winery. In addition to the winery, the family also operates an inn and restaurant where Jakob’s mom, sister and brother work. For dinner we had a mix of traditional South Styrian foods hot and cold alongside amazing glasses of wine. Dinner was phenomenal but be sure to save some room for dessert because you will love the freshly made pastries.
How to Get Around South Styria When Wine Tasting
If you follow our itinerary and do all the wine drinking we were doing, driving yourself around won’t be the best idea. Instead make a reservation with WeinMobil, a taxi service for visitors wine tasting.
Another option available to wine tasters staying in Gamlitz is the free taxi service offered to hotels, wineries and restaurants who participate in the GAST Taxi service. If you’re going from one participating establishment to another this option will be your cheapest.
Where to Stay During Your South Styrian Wine Road Adventure
We stayed at the Weinlandhof Hotel, located in Gamlitz. The rate includes a breakfast buffet with quite a few options including hot and cold food. There is even a stove top to make your own fresh eggs. The rooms were decent but the WiFi is very limited and I had to go to the common area to use the internet. Besides that there is a nice spa and pool downstairs and massages are even offered on an appointment basis.
Enjoying the South Styria Wine Road was the perfect way to end my trip in Austria. After getting to visit here and spend 3 days in Graz, I’m very much looking forward to exploring more of the country. Did you find this post helpful? Please share it!
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Suzanne Jones says
That was such a fun trip! Reading this was a lovely reminder 🙂