The Himmelbauer Presshaus stands with a powerful, self-confident presence: After all, it's not like there's just any old wine cellar hiding beneath it. A full 51 steps lead into the depths, where pot-bellied barrels and mighty round arches tell you all you need to know. Nobody knows how old this uncharacteristically large wine cellar is. It could well be that it was built more than two centuries ago, to hold the products from Robot and tithes for the Melk Abby. In 1880, curiously festive door portals were added to the main domed room of the cellar, yielding a surprisingly artistic flare. Here, 24 meters beneath the vineyard, wine tasting and drinking proceed in something approaching sensual ritual. Crystal clear white wines, fresh and fragrant, dark, strong red wines: This is the taste of the regions' land.

Bit by bit, the conversations subside, and a comfortable, appreciative silence takes hold. The light down in the cellar does not show hard contours, but rather paints a uniformly soft-lit world, which unobtrusively drifts through a dark, black universe. Here, tastings aren't part of some outlandish show for cultured wine critics, but rather are an exercise in joint comfort and enjoyment, with the overarching goal of having a good time in the cellar, exploring the cozy, sensible and enjoyable mystery called wine.


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