Wine, wellness, SPA, farmer’s baths and the origins of tourism in South Tyrol

For two millennia, South Tyrol has been fostering a relationship between the cooler north and the serene south
"South Tyrol is a land blessed by God," wrote the unforgotten master chef Andreas Hellrigl. "... the valleys blossom and flourish, everything your heart covets grows within, inviting you overall to stop for a bite to eat. This was already common knowledge in the Middle Ages. South Tyrol probably witnessed its first tourist season as early as 800 years ago. Even farmers took "to the baths". These hay baths and hay flower fragrance-infused saunas were well-known all over the area. A bath cost 12 kreutzer and they helped against rheumatism, caries of the bone, gout and sciatica. And so, the spa town of Merano came into being."

In the past, both locals and guests used these baths up to five times a day. And: because the waters sapped their strength, they also feasted heartily after each bath - "according to some reports which have been handed down to us, the bathers in all their innocence and joy, consumed up to a dozen hearty meals a day. The numbers of those who died of strokes during their course of treatments may have been relatively high". (Andreas Hellrigl) - In the fine SPA facilities of Vinum Hotels South Tyrol, things are naturally much quieter, more relaxed ... and probably also much healthier "onwards – to the spa area"!

The November Wine Letter is dedicated to relaxing wellness & wellbeing, SPA resorts, farmer’s baths in South Tyrol!
In the extravagant spa area of the Wellness-Hotel Muchele, a cornerstone of the Vinum Hotels South Tyrol, guests are pampered as if in One Thousand and One Nights. Those who wish to occasionally venture beyond the tranquil spa area in order to mingle at the house bar come across an extremely well-curated wine and distillate list. Guests with high expectations will find everything they need in a comfortable and welcoming hotel of international stature, from relaxingly snug rooms to elegantly furnished luxury suites with period furniture. Sports activities within the hotel are virtually boundless, panoramic indoor swimming pool, sauna area, steam baths and the entire massage ABC of a purely South Tyrolean variety.

TheStroblhof Wine Estate in Eppan exudes pleasure and joie de vie - luxuriously furnished guest rooms and suites entice you to linger while charm and elegance permeate through the entire establishment. This unique spa and beauty facility with its indoor pool, large bathing and sauna area, fitness centre and an exclusive beauty farm is a world of relaxation and recreation, an oasis of health and beauty. Everything you need for body, mind and soul can be found here. And what about our stomachs: there’s no better place to eat in the valley.

At Romantik Hotel Turm in Völs, guests are accommodated within walls dating back to the 13th century in historic vaulted rooms and luxurious suites with modern designs. This is how one imagines the unobtrusive retreats to which Hollywood stars escape to on weekends: on the outside rugged nature, on the inside alpine romance warmed by wood-fires and rooms redolent with the scent of Swiss pine. When deer and chamois stroll across the front lawn at dusk, you feel like you're at home in a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, whilst enjoying a dreamlike view of Sciliar and the Dolomites.

Romantik Hotel Oberwirt in Marling, a former country inn from the 15th century, has long been considered a luxurious residence for bon vivants, a recreational jewel in an archaically beautiful landscape. Every guest that lodges here will be pampered with stylish comfort. Of course, all rooms and suites are equipped with the latest technical comforts and there are also large fitness rooms with saunas, steam baths and Roman baths available, as well as an indoor and outdoor pool in the Amadea Spa. A globe-spanning wine list invites you to revel in tempting indulgence and pleasure at the hotel's very own gourmet restaurant. Vineyard tours and tastings at the hotel's winery, Eichenstein with its underground cellar and the Oberwirt Vinarium greatly enrich any vacation.
The Vinum Hotel November Wine Letter

The Vinum Hotels South Tyrol December Wine Letter:

"Fox, you stole the goose!" – quaint, historical goose recipes for the Christmas season next month. Accompanied by a suitable South Tyrolean wine: Merlot!

Now is the perfect time for a roast goose!
A distinction is made between an early-fattening goose, which can be up to five months old and weighs three to four kilograms and young geese which are up to nine months old and weigh four to six kilograms. Geese over one year old and slaughtered after the laying period are rarely offered.

Taken from the Roman cookbook of Apicius (born around 25 BC - approx. 42 AD) Liber VI Aeropetes / Book 6, Poultry: „Aves omnes ne liquescant: cum plumis elixare omnibus melius erit. Prius tamen exinterantur per guttur vel e navi assublatae” // "Let all the birds not become too soft: boiling with plumage will be better for all. But before they are gutted through the throat or once the rump has been removed, from behind."

Taken from the "buoch von guoter spîse", year 1345/'52, a medieval cookbook: Roast goose with liver and apple sauce: "This is a good meal. Put a goose on a spit and cook the giblets. Take four hard-boiled eggs to which add the crumbs of good white bread and caraway seeds, also a little pepper and saffron. And then take three boiled chicken livers, mix them with vinegar and chicken broth, making them not too sour. Peel onions, chop them finely, and then put them in a pot. Add water or lard and leave them to simmer so that they soften."

The December Wine Letter is studded with roast goose and excellently accompanied with South Tyrolean Merlot!