In addition to the viticulture and tourism, the apricots growing is an important pillar of the regional economy, and we can even call their apricots the orange gold of the Wachau valley.
The apricot is known from the Ancient times, and its origin is disputed, however it is sure that it originates somewhere from Asia. In Austria, the most famous apricots come from the Wachau valley. Most likely, the apricots came to the Danube region via South Europe in the 1st century. The commercial cultivation of apricots started from 1900. Since then, the apricot production has been a traditionally important source of the income for this region. Local farmers are cultivating apricots through the grafting of the best selections of "Klosterneuburger apricot", which today accounts for almost 100% of the stock.
The local climate is particularly beneficial for the flavour of the Wachau apriots. The clash of two climates - the hot Pannonian and cold Waldviertler climate, the influence of the immediate proximity of the Danube, as well as the temperature fluctuations between day and night, are typical for the Wachau valley. The unique, incomparable and well-known aroma and taste formation of the Wachau apricot arises from the play of these factors. For this reason, the European Union has proclaimed the Wachau apricot a "protected designation of origin". The name "Wachau apricot" may only be used to describe apricots from the municipalities of this region. More than 200 Wachau apricot farmers are included in the "Wachau Apricot Association", which vouches for the origin, authenticity and the unique aroma and the taste quality. The seal of the association may only be used by the companies that produced the Wachau varieties for more than 60 years.
The short-stemmed apricot trees, with round or long treetops give the valley of Wachau its typical appearance. Very special experience is in spring when the trees are blossoming. The beginning of July, when the harvesting season starts, is the best time to visit Wachau, if you are a fan of this fruit. You can see people on every corner selling their apricots. There are even apricot adventure trails that lead you through the picturesque old apricot gardens. You may walk along the trails. You may nibble on the fruits, but be careful and do not pick them up and crush any fruit on the ground. In this region, you can taste the apricot frizzante, apricot nectar, jam, chutney, chocolate, brandy, liqueur and many other apricot products.
More than 100,000 apricot trees are the attraction for many tourists and a good reason for them to visit Wachau and enjoy apricots - the orange gold.
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