A region characterized by wine, tourism and cuisine, surrounded by the impressive alpine panorama. The cuisine always oscillates between alpine traditions and the Italian, Mediterranean influences and finds its own identity in between. And then at this time of year there is the tradition of Törggelen: A small festival where the new wine is tasted before fermentation, combined with rustic dishes such as barley soup, cabbage, dumplings and smoked meat, house sausages and bacon, Kaminwurzen, cheese and delicious Schlutzkrapfen.
And it was precisely at this exciting time of year that I set out to explore South Tyrol more closely and get to know the people along the Wine Road. So I met a star chef, a winemaker, a hotelier and a bread-baking farmer on a remote mountain farm. I was allowed to write and tell all these stories for
What moves us
the magazine of the IDM South Tyrol, which was awarded in the truest sense of the word.
On the trail of the spice traminer
The last part of my journey today is to the J. Hofstätter winery. It is one of the largest in South Tyrol. With the Kolbenhof including Rechtenthaler Schlossleiten in Söll near Tramin and the Barthenau in Mazon, it also owns the largest area in South Tyrol for the cultivation of Gewürztraminer.
I turn right off state road 16, which winds through the valleys in South Tyrol parallel to the Adige River, and drive up the winding road to the village of Tramin. This is where the Gewürztraminershould come from. Its origin is not entirely undisputed, however, I feel closer to the historical as well as namesake origin than any other place in the world.
Bread with soul and a lot of handwork
At mountain farmer Robert Gurndin in Unichhof, at 1,400 meters above sea level.
Already from the valley I could observe the spectacle: The clouds hang so low in the mountains today that the peaks are hardly visible. Over winding serpentines I make my way up, into the clouds. Thick fog obscures the view. Until, a few hundred meters later, the air clears up. I arrived above the cloud cover. And a short time later also at the Unichhof in Aldein with Robert Gurndin.
Rye spaghetti with toasted bread, spinach and curd cream
An authentic recipe from Herbert HintnerCook the pasta briefly – and as a skilled didact, the chef directly shows the ideal technique. Put little water in a large pot. Cook the pasta for about 60 seconds, then transfer to a large pan along with a third of the water and continue to toss here until the water diffuses or is absorbed by the pasta.
Served on a mirror of a spinach sauce and curd cheese, garnished with bread crumbs from an intensely fragrant farmer’s bread that Hintner has previously toasted with plenty of butter. And it is precisely this bread that gives the dish an intense heartiness and umami.