A "Buschenschank" is something similar to a "Heuriger"- it is kind of a restaurant at a vinegrower. They serve their own vines and some simple, mostly cold dishes too. The vinegrower Polz is, beside "Tement", one of the most famous and best vine growers in the area.
There are many good restaurants in the area but the best approach to the local wines and tasty local snacks is the "Buschenschank". According to a very old Austrian law the vintners can serve their own wines and other food they are producing themselves at their farmsteads and pay less taxes for it. The number of days they are allowed to do it is limited. A wreath or bush of twigs hanging above the entrance shows that the place is open that day. Therefore the name "Buschenschank". It is the same what in other wine producing areas of Austria (for example Lower Austria) is called Heurige. There are always enough open along the wine roads. In good weather you are here sitting on great terraces right between the wine hills with a great view over the landscape which often is named the "Styrian Tuscany". It really strongly reminds of the Tuscan landscape. The best time to enjoy a Buschenschank is from middle afternoon until early evening.
Two warnings: 1.) This area is heavily visited on weekends in September and October. Avoid the weekends under this time if you can.
2.) If you see a bus parking near a Buschenschank dont enter, look for an other one, there are enough open around.
Favorite Dish: You get here exclusively the wines of the place where you are. If you do not particulary ask for anything special you get the wine of the last harvest, this means form November onwards the wine of the running year. The weeks after the grapes are harvested you can drink the "Sturm" which is the only partially fermented juice of the grapes in its intermediate state on the way to the wine. Since not all sugar of the grapes is fermented to alcohol it is sweet and looking hazy. It is very tempting to drink from it much more than you should ;-). To the wine (or the Sturm) you get very tasty local snacks. You should not miss to try the typical Styrian farmer's salads which can come in many varaitions containing cold beef, cheese, beans, onions, etc. but always with a great dressing of vinegar and the famous Styrian pumpkin seed oil ("Kernöl", the Green Gold of Styria). For this the seeds of a special type of pumpkin are taken which is only cultivated in Styria and in a few neighbouring regions of Southern Burgenland, Northern Slovenia and Western Hungary. To get the oil the seeds which have no shells are first roasted and then pressed only mechanically. The result is a dark green oil looking at thefirst glance like the stuff you get out of the engine of your car when it is due to change the oil. Pumpkin seed oil has a great nutty taste which you almost inevitably will love. In ancient times this was the poor man's oil but you cn easily understand that nowadays this stuff is not cheap. You can also buy it here at the spot but expect the same prices as for excellent olive oil in Tuscany.
This local restaurant is well-known amongst locals and city folks from Vienna for having one of the best food and wines around. Their outdoor terrace restaurant overlooks one of the most beautiful views of south Styria - hills covered in vineyards dotted with colorful houses and cypress trees. It is like overlooking the hills of Tuscany in Italy.
They are open during the warm months of April until October. Unfortunately, they are closed during the Winter months from November to March.
Business hours: Wednesdays to Sundays, from 11.00 - 22.00 hours.
In September to October months, from Mondays also from 11.00 to 16.00 hours.
Favorite Dish: All the food is fantastic, made from the best local produce around; most organic and locally grown in Styria.
You must try the "Steirisches Backhendl" (Styrian Fried Chicken), the best fried chicken I've ever eaten. The local chicken covered in batter and deep-fried to golden-brown. It is crispy "finger-licking" good, succulent and juicy on the inside.
Let me tell you. I have eaten so many fried chicken in my life but the Steirisches Backhendl from this restaurant is the best of all. Hard for me to describe its absolutely delicious wonderful taste, but whenever I crave for fried chicken, I was willing to drive 2.5 hours to this restaurant in south Styria!
After the main meal, you must also try their desserts. Oh, soo heavenly delicious!
After arriving in Gamlitz for the first time, I was unsure of where to eat but I found this lovely place in the middle of town. The atmosphere is cozy, typically Austrian and staff are friendly. Apparently they produce their own wine and after sampling some at dinner time, I brought a case home with me. They serve some traditional Styrian dishes and since it was autumn, I had me some of my favorite pumpkin soup.
They also prepare a nice picnic basket for you to takeaway. Here's a sample :
Cooked ham according to traditional farmers way, hard cured sausage, cheese, "Verhackerts", different parfait, seasonal fruits, farmhouse bread, cake according to grandmother's recipe.
Additionally you can choose a bottle of wine from their product line and a bottle of cooled water & coffee too.
Price for 2 persons: Euro 45,--.
Go early because the place fills up real quick. Yummy :)