Kellergasse, 7083 Purbach am Neusiedler See.
Heuriger: 1st Sat of the Month.
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Kellergasse, Am Kellerplatz 1, 7083 Purbach am Neusiedler See, Tel.: +43-2683-5920.
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The Purbacher Kellergasse is a cobblestone road with cellars on both sides, in total more than 50 wine cellars. The entrances are level with the road, so it was possible to bring and get the wine using carts. Most cellars also had a press, so the grapes were pressed here and then filled into wooden casks, which were stored in the cellar. This facility was built around 1850.
The common explanation for such a structure is the lack of space in the fortified farms. That's only partly true, the main problem is that it was difficult to build cellars in the lowland due to the groundwater. If they dug too deep, the cellars filled with water and were unusable. So they were not able to build a cellar below their farmhouses, which was common in other wine growing areas. Instead, they built cellars above ground, along a road, on both sides. The cellars were long vaulted passages which were bricked by hand from natural stones. Then they were covered by a thick layer of rocks and earth, which produced the required constant temperature of 8 °C. The result is a series of "above ground" cellars. This construction was state of the art in the mid 19th century.
Today wine is produced in stell casks, the cellars are not efficient anymore, and it's also possible to build despite the groundwater or even to use a hall and air conditioning. As a result the historic cellars are used as wine taverns, tasting rooms, or event locations. The Austrian name is Heuriger which translates "from this year". It's the name of young wine, sometimes the fermentation process is not even completed, the wine has a lost of carbon dioxide bubbles, is rather sweet, and some people have problems with flatulence when they drink it. The point is, that the wine growers were allowed to sell their fresh wine directly to the customer for a short time every year. Of course, they earned much more money, if there was no merchant and no landlord who wanted their share. But they were restricted in many ways, one was the restriction on the young wine, and so the name Heuriger became the name of this kind of makeshift wine bar. The wine was sold directly from the cellar, there were a few benches and tables in front of the door. It's not possible to get a meal, except quite basic snacks like bread and cheese or smoked sausage.
There are numerous traditions around the wine. First it is called Staubiger (Dusty). On the day of St. Martin, the 11-NOV, the wine is christened and becomes Heuriger. It's allowed to drink the wine before, but it is not allowed to say Prost, the German "cheers". Instead, they say Mahlzeit (literally enjoy your meal) or Rauxibauxi (we cant translate this).
This is not the only Kellergasse in Austria, so a word about names. Such a site was a way with cellars, so it was called "cellar way" or Kellergasse in German. This became the name of the road, and the name of the site, and of course it's the address. And as there are many such sites in Austria, they are separated by the name of the village where they are located, in this cave Purbach. Both versions are used, Purbacher Kellergasse (Kellergasse of Purbach) and Kellergasse Purbach (Kellergasse in Purbach).