© TRV Südweststeiermark | Tom Lamm

Buschenschank - wine tavern

If you have ever been to the south of Styria or at least heard of this region then you have surely heard the term “Buschenschank”. Well, that is not unusual because a Buschenschank belongs to southern Styria just as much as the excellent south Styrian wines or the wonderful, soft hillsides of the vineyards. To begin with - the word Buschenschank is often falsely attributed with the female article “die” as there is a widespread misconception that the word is derived from the word Schank/Ausschank – bar /counter - in the middle of a tavern. 

In earlier days however, a Wachholderbusch - a spray from the juniper bush - was hung over the entrance to show that the tavern was open and that is why this type of tavern was given the name “der Buschenschank”. The history of Buschenschanks goes back to the 17th century. At that time Emperor Josef II founded the basic concept of the Buschenschank as it is known today. A regulation decreed by him granted everyone permission to serve, respectively to sell, foodstuffs and beverages produced by them on their own premises. With time, the serving of foods and beverages had to be notified of, and meanwhile there is a special law in Styria for operating a Buschenschank. This law states that only cold foods from in-house production or made of farm products may be offered. Serving warm foods is strictly forbidden as well as the sale of coffee, beer or soft drinks. So, those are enough hard facts. Onto the most important things in a Buschenschank namely the food and the wine.