Wine Hikes in the Alps!

The best tours in South Tyrol's wine regions
"wein.kaltern" is the first successful venture between culinary establishments and the wine industry in South Tyrol - one of its remarkable initiatives has been the creation of a signposted wine hiking trail through the village's vineyards.

On "Wine Excursion Day" more than two dozen wine producers in Caldaro (in German: Kaltern) open up their cellars and taverns from 10am to 6pm. These are the partner wineries of the wein.kaltern consortium, which on this day offer their guests a relaxed and at the same time very interesting place to stop for refreshments, insights into cellar architecture, wine tastings on site and culinary delights; experience a spring day here with family and friends: the Caldaro Wine Excursion Day.

Even children get their money's worth and in some places, are offered delectable delicacies.
 
 
In the wine-growing municipality of Caldaro there are many traces of primeval and early settlement. 

Grape seed findings
from a Neolithic cult site on Mitterberg prove that contemporaries of the glacial mummy "Ötzi" were already very fond of grapevines in the Caldaro area and probably also cultivated them.

Today, Caldaro is regarded as an exemplary wine village, in which wineries and culinary establishments work together harmoniously - stirrers claim: when tipsy at any rate. This collaborative platform "wein.kaltern" is a visionary think tank - successful initiatives include "weinhaus.kaltern" and "wein.weg", along which the most important South Tyrolean spring hike through the vineyards takes place in April - Caldaro Wine Excursion Day.

Vial - Prunar - Palurisch

The "wein.weg" or wine trail leads past vineyards and wine farms to Lake Caldaro (Lake Kaltern). The different wine growing locations, also known as "Riegel", are characterised by white limestone ridges in the ground and have been given names of Rhaeto-Romance origin such as "Vial", "Prunar" or "Palurisch".

Four stations with benches and tables along the circular trail invite you to linger a while - and while you enjoy the view over the grapevines and the lake, you can read more about wine culture in Caldaro on the inscription panels embedded in the table tops. On "Wine Excursion Day" in spring, more than 2 dozen Caldaro wineries open up their cellars and taverns from 10am to 6pm.

(Information available from: Ferienregion Südtirols Süden, Pillhofstr. 1, Frangart/Eppan - tel. +39 0471 633488)

In the past, the church pulpit in Tscherms was used to preach sermons against insect plagues, hail, mould and other disasters that threatened wine-growing.

“Eodem anno flogen die Heyschröckhen aus der Tartarey durch Vngern … und khamen in das Etschtal gen Botzen … und verwuesteten das feld allenthalben gar vbel” which translates into something like “this year the locusts flew out of Tartary, through Hungary ... and came into the Adige valley to Bolzano ... and severely devastated fields everywhere” (chronicle of the locust invasion of 1348).

At Whitsun, in order to call forth protection for their wine, the wine farmers of Tscherms still shoulder their holy statue of Saint Urban, the patron saint of wine, carrying him in the procession along steep vineyards. An archaic reminiscence of old customs and traditions in Tyrol.

According to an old legend, Girlan has more (cellar) cubature underground than above. The small village, which in fact is only a small area of the larger municipality of Appiano (Eppan), is a South Tyrolean winegrowing capital - boasting two winery cooperatives and several smaller wineries.

On one of the most beautiful hiking trails along the rows of grapevines in Girlan, enterprising Girlan farmers have set up an educational wine trail. The most important data, stories and facts about the history of wine growing in the village are presented on detailed information boards.
 
 
The Vinum Hotels - April Wine Letter:
Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much! - The success story of South Tyrolean Winery Cooperatives

Today there are twelve winery cooperatives in South Tyrol with 360 employees and almost 3300 member businesses, cultivating 3332 hectares of vineyards and responsible for almost three quarters of the wine production in the province. The cooperatives leave each wine farmer enough freedom to develop their individuality.

At the same time, however, they distribute the risk onto many shoulders, bear the burden of innovation for their members, maintain high quality through support and the exchange of ideas, can draw on state-of-the-art equipment and react quickly and professionally to erratic weather conditions - challenges that could not be shouldered by individual farmers.

The Vinum Hotels South Tyrol April Wine Letter is dedicated to the superb South Tyrolean winery cooperatives!