Stage 23 From the Glacier to the Wine, the southern route from Leutschach - Ratsch an der Weinstraße
A beautiful, romantic tour right into the heart of Southern Styrian wine country. From Leutschach, the centre of the largest wine-growing community in Styria, the path takes us to one of the most famous and beautiful viewpoints of the Southern Styria Nature Park, to the large grapes at the Eory-Kogel. Through the typical hilly landscape with its vineyards and in between shadowed forests, this stage of the From the Glacier to the Wine hiking route takes us through Sulztal an der Weinstraße in sections along the Styrian-Slovenian border to Ratsch an der Weinstraße.
Parts of this stage of the From the Glacier to the Wine hiking route are also identical to the Glanzer Hoftour, one of the most popular hiking tours in the Southern Styria Nature Park. In addition to the existing grapes at the Eory-Kogel, many other art projects were launched in 2015 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Southern Styrian Wine Route. The 5-metre-high grapes made of stainless steel and glass, which have existed for many years, symbolise the days and weeks in the annual cycle with its 365 pearls (and a 366th for the leap year) and the 52 parts (leaves, stem and bunch). In turn, the new gallery on the wine route, in which well-known artists such as Bodo Hell, Werner Reiterer, Konrad Adam, and Gerald Brettschuh have worked, deals with the theme '60 Years of the Southern Styrian Wine Road' together with young artists such as Verena Rotky or Michaela Sattler. The created works can be admired on the one hand as an art print on glass in an outdoor gallery in the region, or on the other hand 15 art print posters - signed by hand and numbered - can be purchased online. The net proceeds are used for charitable purposes in southern Styria.
From Leutschach, where not only viticulture but also growing hops plays an important role, which can be experienced at the Leutschach brewery, the route takes us along the Glanzer Hoftour slightly uphill to the Eory-Kogel with the largest grapes in the world. Excellent wine taverns and vineyards invite you to a stopover and also give insights into the art and craft of winegrowers on the most famous wine route in Austria, because here it is still possible to look behind the scenes in many places. At the Eory-Kogel we keep left and walk towards Sabathihof, where we keep to the right and continue along the Glanzer Hoftour. We soon get over the Roßberg to the Germuth vineyard in the heart of the Glanzer Wine Route.
Directly along the border with Slovenia, identical to the Südalpenweg 03 [Southern Alpine Route], we continue on this stage of the hiking route "From the Glacier to the Wine" to visit another beautiful piece of earth just south of Sulz on the wine route in the area of the Dreisiebner vineyard. The border table is a table surrounded by seats right on the border between the two countries that was built for "border talks". The border table is intended as a meeting place for cultural exchange. In addition, the border table is a communication hub for art, culture and politics, but also is a place to stop for individuals, especially the resident population and holiday guests. After a last leisurely climb, one of the most popular photo opportunities in the Southern Styria Nature Park begins, the Herzerlstraße - a street section in the shape of a heart. Passing other wineries and wine taverns, hiking slightly downhill we soon come to our stage town of Ratsch an der Weinstraße before heading along the border with Slovenia to Ehrenhausen on the next day.