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Wine Vending Machine, Pfaffstätten, Austria


A vineyard is obviously a very appropriate place in which to enjoy a glass or two of wine. If you fancy the idea but don't have a bottle in your rucksack, here is the solution: a wine vending machine located in the middle of the vineyards.


In theory all you need is a credit card—the machine supplies the glasses as well as the wine (and there is also a slot for returning the glasses). There is a snag, though: you have to prove you are old enough to buy alcohol—and that, according to the instructions, works only with Austrian or German debit cards.

Oh well, it was much too early in the day for us anyway!

The vending machine sits next to a nice walking trail in Austria's Thermenregion (


Its route follows an old pipeline which pumps water from the Rax mountains into Vienna. The path's original purpose was to give maintenance workers access to the pumping stations, but large sections of it have been opened to the general public over the last couple of decades. The trail is well sign-posted.


At a few points you can actually sample the water going through the pipeline.


The timing of our visit - in September of last year - coincided with the beginning of the grape harvest.


Dotted along the trail are several little huts offering wine, other drinks, and snacks. They generally don't open until the afternoon, so this one was still closed when we passed it at lunchtime.


However, on the way back we used the opportunity to sample the semi-fermented new wine at one of the stalls. If you have never tasted such a thing, it is well worth a try. The (cloudy) wine is, of course, still fairly sweet at this stage in the process, but it already packs a punch - and, especially if you are thirsty after your walk, it is all too easy to have a bit too much!


You might then think that you are imagining things when you come across scenes like this along the path:


It's not something you see every day—but then the same probably applies to wine vending machines!


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