Imagine toasting with the perfect glass of sparkling Brut Reserve or a dry, late harvest Riesling or a peppery, fruity Grüner Veltliner right in the Kremstal valley?

Now consider enjoying these wines in the company of newfound wine-loving friends right in the winery they are produced?

Truly, one of the most delightful aspects of wine cruising is visiting unique wineries dotted throughout the region—and the enchanting Schloss Gobelsburg in Austria’s Kamptal wine region is one such winery you may visit. The Kamptal region, named after the Kamp River and home to Austria’s largest wine-producing town, is legendary for its many outstanding wine-growers.

And Schloss Gobelsburg is certainly among these legendary wineries. Recognized by such magazines as Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Food Magazine, the winery has won numerous awards—including the influential Gault Millau’s 2017 Sparkling Wine of the Year, Kamptal Wine Trophy’s 2016 Winery of the Year, Weinchampion’s 2016 Winery of the Year and numerous others.

Once a Cistercian monastery, with beautiful castle grounds, the Schloss Gobelsburg is one of the oldest wineries in wine-rich Austria. You’ll indulge in a wine tasting of traditional Austrian wines (including Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners) and tour the various cellars.

A step inside the cellars is a step back through the history of winemaking, as one of the rooms dates back to the 11th century. Back in 1171, the monks of Zwettl began making wine on the premises and created the oldest documented vineyards in Kamptal: Heiligenstein and Gaisberg. Since 1996, Eva and Michael Moosbrugger have owned the winery and have sought to uphold the high levels of tradition since its founding.

The Moosbruggers’ have also worked diligently to ensure that their wines retain their unique individuality and special character. To that end, they have created what they’ve termed the ‘Dynamic Cellar Concept.’ While other wineries are utilizing new machines and other technologies to produce their wines, Schloss Gobelsburg wines minimize the use of such modern conveniences to retain authenticity. Wines are transported via barrels on wheels from one section of the cellar to the other, as opposed to being pumped from one location to the other.

Further ensuring a local, authentic flavor, the winery continues to use oak casks produced entirely from the local trees of the Manhartsberg region. These oak casks not only help enhance and shape the wines, maturing and developing their character, but also serve to enrich the local identity of the wines by sharing the same climatic and geologic origins. Be sure to take note of the elegant designs carved on many on the casks—after all, where better to view artwork than in a winery!

After the tour, guests can purchase wines straight from the winery to toast to a perfect evening (either ones enjoyed during the tasting or choose others to sample!). Alternatively, the Schloss Gobelsburg is carried in the United States through select vendors.