Some 200 organic fig trees can be found growing in the Feigenhof greenhouse in the 11th district to the south of the city, where harvest begins in summer and continues right through to November. The aromatic fruit are hand-picked and sold fresh or made into fig products such as jam or liqueur which can be bought from the farm shop, but only on Saturdays. The Feigenhof also produces vegetables, berries and an impressive selection of 200 different herbs. Guided tours are also offered on request. Also in the south of Vienna, in the 23rd district, old and rare varieties of roses are grown as ingredients for use in a range of aromatic delicacies. The gelées, syrups, spreads, liqueurs and cosmetics are on sale at Wiener Rosenmanufaktur, a small store in the first district's quaint Schönlaterngasse. Tastings are also held here by prior arrangement.
Top chefs are among the clientele of the vinegar producer Wiener Essigbrauerei Gegenbauer in the 10th district. Erwin Gegenbauer, known as the "vinegar pope", brews his luxury fruit, wine, balsamic and drinking vinegars using only natural ingredients and without pasteurisation or filtration. His wares can be bought and tasted at the traditional Viennese company's permanent stand on the Naschmarkt. The 10th district is also the home of the Viennese Escargots. Andreas Gugumuck has devoted himself to the rediscovery of this old Viennese delicacy and breeds free-range vineyard snails on a 400 year-old farm. Specialties such as snail liver and snail caviar are also produced. They can be found on the menus of the city's best restaurants nowadays and are also available to buy in the shop of the snail manufactory. Guided tours of the snail farm and tastings in the bistro of the snail manufactory are held every year from May to October. Visitors listen to entertaining stories told by Andreas Gugumuck about the history, biology, breeding and preparation of Viennese escargots. Three Fridays a month, a chef at the bistro also serves up a multi-course menu based on the snail, accompanied by Viennese wine from the vintner Wieninger.
Most of the city's agricultural produce comes from the large green expanses in the outer districts to the south, north and east. But Vienna's bees feel right at home in the centre of town, where hives can be found on the roofs of the Vienna State Opera and several hotels including Hotel Daniel Vienna. The hotel shop sells the honey and serves it up for breakfast. Put simply, bees love Vienna. The countless meadows, trees, parks, gardens, roadside verges, balconies and green rooftops provide a constant, yet ever-changing palette of blossoming flowers for the insects, which number over 200 million. Temperatures also remain higher for longer in the city than in rural areas and pesticide use is very low. The 5,000 colonies in the capital are tended to by 600 keepers.
Vienna's climate, with many days of sunshine and the nearby Lake Neusiedl which stores a huge amount of heat, makes it perfect for growing an amazing array of produce. Vienna is also the only major capital with a significant winegrowing industry within its borders. Each year some 2.4 million litres of wine are produced from its 700 hectares of vineyards. Wherever wine grows, vegetables are not far away. The city's agricultural industry consists of about 900 farms and companies. Viennese growers supply almost 60 percent of Austria's cucumbers, and harvest large crops of egg plants, parsley, peppers and tomatoes.
Feigenhof (Fig farm)Am Himmelreich 325, 1110 Wien
Wiener RosenmanufakturSchönlaterngasse 7, 1010 Wien
- Mo - Fr, 13:00 - 18:00
- Sa, 11:00 - 17:00
Gegenbauer Vinegar BreweryWaldgasse 3, 1100 Wien
- Appointments for guided tours are announced on the website or available upon request.
Gegenbauer VinegarNaschmarkt, Stand 111-114 , 1060 Wien
- Mo - Sa, 09:00 - 18:00
Viennese Escargots Gugumuck (Wiener Schnecken Gugumuck)Rosiwalgasse 44, 1100 Wien