Friuli / Udine and Austrian Wine Country Trip
I am planning a driving trip from Vienna to Venice and hoped someone might have restaurant / hotel advice. We have found much information on the two cities, but would much appreciate any suggestions in or around Udine in Friuli or for the Austrian countryside (I'm thinking Wachau, but we are flexible at this time).
The Neusiedlersee is a strange area around a large shallow lake on the border between Austria and Hungary. It is certainly atmospheric and because of the warm climate the specialty is dessert wine. Rust, Moerbisch and Eisenstadt (where the Esterhazy Palace is situated) are all worth dropping into and you could pass through this small area in a day if you were in a hurry. Further southeast in Steiermark (Styria) the Suedliche Weinstrasse (Southern Wine Route) is amazingly picturesque-really fabulous. The wine is much better than it was and I have recently had ever-better bottles from Polz. Steiermark is a lovely province and the capital, Graz, is an almost unknown gem despite being the second city of Austria. I was there once again last weekend and couldn't recommend it as a beautiful venue more highly. And fresh porcini are in season now as well as the fab schnitzels, salads dressed with local kernoel, torten of all kinds and fried chicken (Backhendl)-the best ever! For good regional cooking Austria really has the biggest surprises. I don't know the rest of Austria well enough to comment in detail I'm afraid....