"In the blink of an eye. Ingenious. Simple. Better!"

fabulous South Tyrolean doughnuts made by skilled hands ready for the winter season
The term "Kirchtag", literally translated as "church day", is inextricably connected to doughnuts almost everywhere. It is said that people of the Puster Valley started the frying the day before. It all began with "Ruspan" followed by the "Weizenen" and finally the "Türtln" and "Nigilan" which were prepared in the evening. There were also "Aufheberkrapfen" on this occasion and to "zi krapfl" was when young men went to ask a sought-after lady for a doughnut. It is often told that the doughnuts were pinned onto the hat like a trophy.

However, this is probably a folklore tale, because who would ruin their hat with a greasy doughnut? Indeed, South Tyrol is traditionally a doughnut-obsessed land of mountains. The imaginative variety that has developed over time was succinctly encapsulated by a farmer's wife from the Eisack Valley: > a different doughnut is being fried behind every brook! < . The January Wine Letter is dedicated to "Gluscht" - the lip-smacking & mouth-watering desire for original South Tyrolean doughnuts!
 
 
The good old Merano master chef Hans Debeljak is the South Tyrolean father of our cooking heritage! And Andreas Hellrigl and Giancarlo Godio are to be commemorated for their pioneering work around our haute cuisine - but without Debeljak's post 1945 grassroots work, our parents and grandparents couldn’t have fed and raised us so well. Debeljak is the pedestal of our Michelin star chefs. With Debeljak, things can even go wrong with the doughnuts!
 
The ingredients for these doughnuts, known as "Faschingskrapfen" here:
 
1kg flour, 6 egg yolks, 100g sugar, 120g butter, 3/8 litre milk, 50g yeast, a pinch of salt. Preparation: Put the flour, sugar, yeast and salt on a pastry board, mix in the lukewarm milk, butter and yolks well, knead the ingredients on the board, leave the dough to rest for ½ hour, then roll out to a ½ cm thickness, outline the doughnuts with a smooth cutter, put a little jam on half of the outlined doughnuts, cut out the other half and place them upside down on top, press the edges firmly together with your fingers, cut out the finished doughnuts, place on a floured cloth, cover with a lightweight cloth, allow to rise, then place the doughnuts upside down in not too hot fat, cover with a lid, fry until the bottom half is brown, turn the doughnuts over, remove the cover, finish frying the second side and dust with sugar whilst still warm. The mixture makes 30 doughnuts.

Of course, after so much patience and effort, we amateur chefs have now earned the befitting wine and in all Vinum Hotels South Tyrol, only best qualified sommeliers are on hand to give you expert advice. We recommend our excellent South Tyrolean dessert wines, especially the rare Rosenmuskateller, which is probably the only sweet wine made from red grapes in the world! Rosenmuskateller sets high demands on its terroir, it requires very warm and dry sites, and it insists on being patiently tended to in the vineyard. Its flower is female, so it cannot fertilise itself which often leads to coulure - Rosenmuskateller is intensely concentrated owing to the predominantly tiny-size of its berries.

The Rosenmuskateller from the Muri-Gries Winery in Bolzano grows in the warm Kaiserau area of Bolzano, the vines are just 30 years old which is a good age for high-quality yields. In order to enhance the wonderful bouquet of rose scents and muscat aromas, master cellarman Christian Werth decided to dry the grapes in small crates for some time after the harvest. The result in these small bottles is an essence that tastes or will taste devilishly sweet and devilishly good, even after 10, 15, ... 20 years.