Aussicht Hoferhof Tscherms

Autumn enjoyment: to Törggelen in Meranerland

To Törggelen in South Tyrol – this idea has been in my head since my last visit to Merano and Environs a good two years ago. Last year I didn’t have the time. Unfortunately, South Tyrol is not just around the corner and the journey takes a long time, depending on the means of transport you have at your disposal. But there is no denying that the trip is worth it. This year, I carved out a window of opportunity at the end of October to get to know the South Tyrolean tradition of “Törggelen”. The custom is due to the tasting of the still fresh wine immediately after pressing. The fresh “Suser” was accompanied by cabbage, dumplings, a meat platter (like the “Metzgete”) and for dessert doughnuts and roasted chestnuts. Sounds wonderfully tempting, doesn’t it?

Bullitour – Meranerland «in a nutshell»

As a prelude to our enjoyable tour through Merano and Environs, our host Johannes Gufler from the Hotel Ansitz Plantitscherhof has come up with something special. The passionate classic car fan likes to drive his hotel guests personally in the sleek cars through the countryside to the most beautiful rest areas in the region. The weekly classic car program includes a guided wine tour with the light blue VW T2 on Wednesdays and a panoramic tour around Merano on Fridays. A nice – decelerating – start to the weekend and of course you don’t have to sit on dry land here either. A glass of Vernatsch is simply part of the magnificent view over the golden shining vineyards and apple orchards.

Bullitour Ansitz Plantitscherhof

Panorama Bullitour Merano and Environs

Bullitour Weinverkostung

Ansitz Plantitscherhof – Refuge in Merano’s villa district

After a three-hour drive, we return to the hotel and finally have the opportunity to take a closer look at the facility. When I had announced my slight delay by phone earlier in the morning, I was irritated by the remark: “And if you can’t find us, just call again.” A few minutes later, when the GPS announced “Your destination is on the right” and I couldn’t make out anything that looked like a “hotel” on the narrow neighborhood street, I understood. The Plantitscherhof residence reflects an evolved structure in the middle of Merano’s villa district of Maia Alta and consists of a historic building fabric and modern extensions. From 5 November 2017, a new phase of renovation will take place, where the historic part of the building, including the country house rooms (we were in one of them) and the restaurant rooms, will receive a facelift. It’s too fresh for me to jump into the pool, which is temptingly embedded in the middle of the secluded gardens. Instead, we warm up in the steam bath and enjoy the rest of the afternoon doing nothing at the indoor pool. The wellness area is not “huge”, but it is equipped with attention to detail and, above all – what I often miss – with spacious and beautifully designed relaxation rooms.

Ansitz Plantitscherhof Garten

Äpfer Ansitz Plantitscherhof

Ansitz Plantitscherhof Meran

Ansitz Plantitscherhof Zimmer

Ansitz Plantitscherhof Detailaufnahme Kissen

Spabereich Ansitz Plantitscherhof

Ruheraum Ansitz Plantitscherhof

I wreath a wreath for the bartender. The friend orders a gin fizz with rosemary, I order an aperitif sour: both fantastic! With this we make ourselves comfortable in front of the blazing fireplace. Plus points are given for the green olives served with it (yes, that’s easy to lure me with). Later we try our way through the à la carte menu of the hotel restaurant. It contains some creative South Tyrolean dishes – including the matching wines by the glass.

Ansitz Plantitscherhof Drinks

Historic Hotel Ansitz Plantitscherhof

Südtiroler Küche Ansitz Plantitscherhof

Hoferhof snack station – Törggelen with a view

The next morning, we deliberately hold back at the breakfast buffet. After all, today is the focus of Törggelen. But we have to earn it first, with an ascent from Marlengo to the Hoferhof snack station above Cermes. While the entrance is leisurely along the Marlinger Waalweg, shortly afterwards it goes unmercifully steeply up the mountain. But the sweaty climb is worth it! On the way we are rewarded with great views of the Merano valley basin and the imposing Lebenberg Castle, and up at the Hoferhof you feel like you’re in paradise. The view from the courtyard terrace is simply enviable. Since 1990, Sepp Schwienbacher has been serving guests fine regional food and delighting his guests with hearty Törggelen menus (two dumplings, meaning four dumplings). Although he no longer has his own Suser (the grape harvest was very early this year), he does have freshly roasted chestnuts from his own chestnut tree. By the way, the butter served with it has an anti-flatulent effect, as Sepp explains to us when I ask. Only during the hours of sunshine does the Hoferhof on the other side of the valley lose out. We wait until the last rays of sunshine say goodbye behind the Vigiljoch and then make our way back to Merano.

Frühstück Ansitz Plantitscherhof

Marlinger Waalweg

Marlinger Waalweg Wanderung

Südtirol Meranerland

Schloss Lebenberg Marling

Marling Meranerland Herbst

Jausestation Hoferhof Törggelen

Small & fine – a stroll through Merano

Down in the valley, the sun lasts longer. The right time for a stroll through the city centre of Merano. Most tourists are drawn to the arcades of Via Portici. I, on the other hand, like the charming alleys around Passeirer Gasse and Via Haller. Also worthwhile at any time of the year is a visit to the gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle with an ingenious viewing platform designed by the South Tyrolean architect Matteo Thun.

MEran Gassen

Meran Fassaden

Meran Gärten Trauttmansdorffer

Heart palpitations on Naturno’s Sonnenberg

The next day we are drawn outside again. Since I have already visited some classics such as the Knottnkino or the Gompm Alm on previous visits, we get the inspiration on the app “Real quality on the mountain“. For all those who, like us, like to combine a hike and good food, the perfect treasure trove for successful day trips. Our choice falls on the Hofschank Pirchhof on Naturno’s Sonnenberg. The farm is located directly on one of the most exciting sections of the Merano High Trail. Actually, we wanted to hike from the Unterstell cable car station in Naturno to the Pirchhof. However, since the cable car has stopped operating due to strong winds, we have to rethink our plan and instead drive directly up to the Pirchhof. There we start a small round trip to the “Valley of a Thousand Steps”, which now makes a great photo subject in autumn with the suspension bridge. Since you can easily cover a good 250 meters in altitude on this route in a hurry (and thanks to the adventurous steps), we can order a fine Pirchbrettl with farm products back at the Pirchhof without a guilty conscience. And maybe now you understand why I like to travel to South Tyrol again and again: They really know how to get the best out of the regional products.

Meraner Höhenweg Hängebrücke

Pirchhof Naturnser Sonnenberg

Pirchhof Buschenschank Törggelen

Pirchhof Brettl

Note: The trip was supported by the Merano Marketing Company and the Plantitscherhof Residence – all impressions and opinions are, as always, ours.

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