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Wine Landscape „Hagenau“. ©Helmut Strohmer

Wine and Traditions in Perchtoldsdorf

Due to its favourable geographical position and climatic conditions, ideally suited to winegrowing, the name Perchtoldsdorf has for many centuries been almost synonymous with vineyards and wine.

Although the first written winegrowing records date back to 1248, it is assumed that vines were already planted there in the 11th and 12th centuries. In the late Middle Ages, wine from Perchtoldsdorf was exported as far away as Bavaria. In 1887, a blight threatened to destroy the livelihood of the vintners and recovery from the crisis took a long time. Today, vineyards cover 14 per cent of the municipality.

The vintners have a centuries-old tradition to express their gratitude for a rich harvest. On the first Sunday after St. Leonhard’s Day (6 November) Perchtoldsdorf celebrates the procession of the Weinhüter. Three of them lead the procession on festively decorated horses to the parish church, followed by the brass band, the other Weinhüter and the heavy Hiatapritschen – a wooden pyramid hung with grapes - that is carried and kept constantly rotating on a pole by a particularly strong young vintner. Then the procession moves on to the town hall where new fermenting wine is served to the accompaniment of folksongs. There is a rich tradition of customs and practices relating to wine, usually paired with music and dancing, that comes particularly alive around this time every year.