Wine & Design cellar tour with wine tasting at the Merano winery




Spring in South Tyrol is a true feast for the senses. With 300 days of sunshine a year, the region is the perfect place to experience spring earlier than anywhere else. As early as March, mild temperatures lure you outdoors, where you can enjoy an aperitivo in the squares of the picturesque towns or feel the energising freshness and vitality of nature’s awakening on an easy hike or a leisurely bike tour. All the more reason for me to give you an insight into my trip and inspiration for your trip to South Tyrol.

The South Tyrolean spring also has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine. Variety and flavour are right at the top of the menu. Whether you are a gourmet, a slow food fan or a fan of Mediterranean dishes – every connoisseur will be happy with dumplings, speck or pasta. Culinary worlds come together in South Tyrol, where Alpine cuisine meets Italian cookery.

South Tyrolean wine harmonises tradition and modernity. The art of producing exquisite wines has been a tradition in South Tyrol for 2,500 years. South Tyrolean families still cultivate their vineyards and press some award-winning wines. Around twenty different grape varieties thrive on an area of 5,800 hectares at altitudes between 200 and 1,000 metres. Tradition and modernity are also reflected in the winery architecture – between historic residences and new contemporary accents.


Wine & Design cellar tour with wine tasting at the Merano winery



The journey begins in the wine village of Marling, an Alpine-Mediterranean idyll above the spa town of Meran. After travelling there, I went on a guided tour of the Wine & Design cellar with wine tasting at the Merano winery. The winery not only impresses with its exquisite range of wines, but also with its modern oak and glass architecture.

Kellerei Meran, also known as Cantina Merano, is a renowned winery in the picturesque region. Founded in 1901, Cantina Merano has become a leading producer of quality wines that reflect the unique characteristics and character of the surrounding vineyards.

The location of the Merano winery is of decisive importance for the quality of its wines. The vineyards stretch along the sun-drenched slopes of the Adige Valley and benefit from a unique microclimate characterised by its proximity to the Alps and the Mediterranean influence of nearby Lake Garda. These unique geographical conditions create ideal growing conditions for a variety of grape varieties, including Gewürztraminer, Lagrein, Vernatsch and Sauvignon Blanc. During the tasting, I was able to get to know some of the fine wines better.


Discover Merano: a paradise for culture, nature and enjoyment



Merano, a charming town in the South Tyrol region, is known for its unique location, mild climate and rich cultural history. I got to know the picturesque town on the free LiteraTOUR, a literary walk through Merano, where 10 local authors describe places they particularly appreciate. Nestled between the imposing peaks of the South Tyrolean Alps and the gentle hills of the Adige Valley, Merano offers an impressive backdrop. The Tappeinerweg, a picturesque footpath above the town, offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. Afterwards, it’s worth browsing through the small boutiques and delicatessens. Don’t miss out on a light lunch at Café Villa Bux, which has a wonderful garden.



In the afternoon, we visit the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, where over 80 different garden landscapes take us on a botanical journey through all vegetation zones. Originally laid out in the 16th century, the gardens have been repeatedly extended and remodelled over the centuries. Among other things, they served as a summer residence for Empress Sissi of Austria in the 19th century. Today, the gardens are home to an impressive variety of plants from all over the world and offer visitors the opportunity to stroll and relax amidst this botanical diversity.



The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle are divided into different themed areas that showcase the diversity and beauty of nature in an impressive way. From Mediterranean terraces and exotic gardens to Alpine landscapes and water features, each area of the gardens offers a unique experience. The gardens can be easily reached from the centre of Merano by car or public transport in just a few minutes.


Dinner in the wine barrel in the Vinumgarten restaurant



Have you ever dined in a wine barrel? The Vinumgarten restaurant offers this unique atmosphere. A visit is the perfect way to spend an evening savouring fine wines from local winegrowers while enjoying Alpine-Mediterranean cuisine.



The menu began with homemade bread and butter, followed by a selection of antipasti on the barrel stave. The main course was homemade wild garlic tagliolini with Terlano asparagus, followed by beetroot rolls in consommé. The highlight of the evening was the South Tyrolean veal fillet medallions with Lagrein sauce, accompanied by potatoes and broccoli, and the mint semifreddo with strawberry dumplings. This delicious menu combines the flavours of Alpine-Mediterranean cuisine with local wine and offers an unforgettable culinary experience.


Hikes in the Marling region

WineCultureTrail in Marling



You shouldn’t miss out on a hike along the WineCultureTrail in Marling during your stay. The approx. 4 km long adventure trail around wine culture takes you through the picturesque landscape of Marling, past historic wineries and idyllic vineyards. Along the way, you will find information points with exciting texts on wine history and wine culture as well as sculptures and objects related to viticulture.



On this route through the vineyards, I also learnt a lot about the history of viticulture in the region. During our hike, we also had the pleasure of visiting the Popphof winery, where we were warmly welcomed and enjoyed a short tour of the vineyards and winery. There is evidence that wine has been made at the historic Popphof since 1592. At lunchtime, I stopped off at the Haidenhof wine tavern and enjoyed dumplings and the wonderful view of Lebenberg Castle.


Hike along the Marlinger Waalweg



An absolute highlight of my trip through South Tyrol was the hike along the Marlinger Waalweg. This historic irrigation channel led me through the wonderful landscape, lined with lush vineyards, blossoming apple trees and views of the surrounding mountains. After the medieval Lebenberg Castle, the Waalweg, which was built over 250 years ago, leads slightly downhill along the mountain to Lana an der Etsch.


Romantikhotel Oberwirt



The historic Romantikhotel Oberwirt in Marling boasts timeless architecture, character and comfort. The hotel was first mentioned in the history books in 1496 as “Jakob Wirt” or “zum oberen Wirt”. Over generations, the original village inn has developed into a place of pleasure and has been in the hands of the Waldner family since 1749. The hotel offers a large selection of stylishly furnished rooms and suites, which have been designed with attention to detail and offer the highest level of comfort. Many rooms have private balconies or terraces with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, perfect for romantic moments at sunset or under the stars.



For relaxation and recuperation, the Romantikhotel Oberwirt offers a wellness area with saunas, steam bath, indoor pool and various wellness treatments to pamper body and soul. After a day full of activities in the great outdoors, this is the perfect place to relax and recharge your batteries.



On my first evening in Marling, a tasting menu with wine accompaniment awaited me in the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, where head chef Werner Seidner spoilt us with his culinary creations. Later on Saturday, I was able to enjoy the Wine & Dine event with a symbiosis of Wagyu and wine at the Hotel Oberwirt. The Wagyu beef, known for its exceptional marbling and intense flavour, was uniquely prepared by the chefs at the Hotel Oberwirt. To round off the culinary experience, the dishes were accompanied by organic wines from the Lieselehof. Lieselehof wines are characterised by their outstanding quality and sustainable cultivation methods, which reflect the terroir and natural characteristics of the vineyards. From fruity white wines to powerful red wines, Lieselehof’s selection offers a variety of aromas and flavours that perfectly matched the different courses of the Wagyu beef dinner. From sparkling wine for the aperitif to dessert wine for the sweet finish.


About the South Tyrol



South Tyrol is a region of breathtaking beauty, characterised by the contrast between Alpine mountain peaks and Mediterranean wine landscapes. South Tyrolean specialities such as apples, wine and speck are produced here, which are of a particularly high quality thanks to the mild climate and the farmers’ many years of experience. It is the meeting of the Italian, German and Ladin languages, the mixture of southern serenity and rural awareness of tradition that characterises South Tyrol.

Facts and figures:
– Highest mountain: Ortler (3,905 m)
– Longest river: Adige (153 km)

This journey through the South Tyrolean spring offers not only unforgettable culinary experiences and unique wine tastings, but also the opportunity to get to know the unique landscape and culture of this region. It is a journey for all the senses that I will remember for a long time.


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