“We don’t get the busloads of tourists here, and that’s how we like it,” says an owner of one of the Heurigen hanging off of Stammersdorfer Kellergasse (streets of cellars) as she lays a bread board full of neatly cut meats, and a range of different Aufstrich (spreads) in front of us. Her German has a warm dialect, and she smiles with the calm of a Buddhist monk.
Set in the middle of fields of vineyards, Stammersdorf’s Kellergasse is the shy, laidback alternative to Grinzing, the Heuriger Disneyland where tourists play. Escaping out to this spot north of the Danube requires a tram trip to the strange setting of Stammersdorf – which looks like a city has vomited on what once was a town – and a short walk through a few back streets. Soon enough you’ll see a sign directing you to the street of cellars (Kellergasse) where you’ll find houses lining the cobblestone street that look like they’ve shrunk in the rain.
In between these houses are Heuriger, and what are known as Buschenschank (the same thing as a Heuriger, minus the warm meals). They don’t look much from the outside, and most of them are closed, but we can hear the murmurings of life from the street coming from within them. We follow the sounds into the those that are open. That’s how relaxed it is out here – opening times do what they want.
We walk (later stumble) from the top to the bottom of Kellergasse, disappearing into the Heurigen. In nearly every one we are served by the owners, or meet them behind the bar. It’s very much an intimate family affair here in Stammersdorf, which we soon feel a part of.
Buschenschank zum Hexenhaus
Where: Stammersdorfer Kellergasse 120, Stammersdorf
What wine to drink? Weisswein Klassischer Gemischter Satz 2009, or a Zweigelt Weiss = 2.60€
Sitting under the shade of the giant apricot tree here, we feel like we’re in somebody’s backyard. This is actually our favourite spot along the Kellergasse. Everthing here is homemade, including the wine, which is sourced from grapes from a vineyard they tend to themselves not far away. The Aufstriche (spreads) inspires moaning, while the various different wines we spend a few hours sipping at convince us in no time that we’re experts, and as experts we never seem to have drunk enough to make an informed opinion. Because it’s so damn good.
Fun facts: The name, Buschenchank zum Hexenhaus requires an explanation of two parts: A Buschenschank is a Heurigen that cannot sell warm dishes by law. “Emperor Joseph II passed a law which allowed wine farmers to sell their own products but only the wine and food they’ve handmade themselves,” the waiter at the Hexenhaus explains to us. The Hexenhaus (witch house) part of the name comes from the place’s beginnings when the seller of the place said to the current owner, “What do you want to do with this small, little Hexenhaus?!”
Heuriger zur Christl
Where: Stammersdorfer Kellergasse 83, Stammersdorf
What wine to drink? Filius Grüner Veltliner classic 2014 = 2.70 €
This place is one of the most popular Heurigen’s in the hood, and it may have something to do with the view. Everytime we’ve been here, there’s been a wedding happening on it’s pleasant rooftop terrace. There’s a vast range of food options, a warm buffet boasting the standard Schweinsbraten (roasted pork) and Leberkäse (like a bologna sausage) and vast Jause (Austrian for antipasti – very typical to order this at a Heuriger) options. With little, sweet little flower pots hanging from everywhere, and vineyards sweeping down towards the city in the view from here, an entire afternoon could be spent here filled with wine, and that feeling that fills you when you’re reminded that you’re living the good life.
Where: Stammersdorfer Kellergasse 133, Stammersdorf
This is the place where you head when you’re hungry. This is not a Heuriger, but what the owner referred to as a Ausflugslokal (a bar of escape). Whatever you want to call it, this place serves up one of the best Flammkuchen (a thin, rectangle bread with different toppings – also known as tarte flambée) we’ve ever stuffed into our mouths. This is also the only spot you’ll find beer on the menu along Kellergasse, as beer on a Heuriger menu is like slapping a Jesus statue on the bum. Also possessing a pleasant view, here you’re on ground level with the vineyards which surround the alfresco garden full of beer benches and tables.
Keep in mind… it’s self-service here.
We love… how they announce your table number when your order’s ready on a loud speaker – ‘Tischerl 3!’
Large Flammkuchen = 8.90€
Palatschinken = 4.50€
Where: Stammersdorfer Kellergasse 131, Stammersdorf
What wine to drink? Zweigelt ‘Alte Reben’ 2011 = 22.20€ (for 0.75 litres)
This Heuriger owns its own unique flair. With some tables set on a lush green garden, and others under a lush green vine roof that blocks out the sun. The food is also valued just as much as the wine here, with a gourmet cuisine menu including seasonal dishes and homemade pastries. The wine’s also made by the owners, and have received raving reviews and won a few prizes in the past.
Also good to know… This Heuriger is particularly good if you have kids with you, with plenty of space for them to run away until they wear out and fall asleep beneath a tree and have a dog licking their face.