well it has been yet another busy weekend here in my little corner of the world, but this time something more pleasurable than putting IKEA furniture together.
Yesterday, Countryboy and I had a wine seminar in the afternoon and evening with our wine guild. We visited the little town of Berneck, which is a little wine town in canton St. Gallen in the Eastern part of Switzerland, near the Austrian border. Berneck is one of my favorite places to visit, with it’s charming little town center, tucked in amongst the steep vineyards. With it’s views of the Rhein Valley and the surrounding mountains, well for me it is just heaven on earth.
Wine has been produced in Berneck since the 9th Century, so there was quite some history to get through first as we made a stop in the Evangelical church to see some amazing murals which detailed the history of the town.
In our wine guild we are lucky to have one of the best Oeneologists (someone who studies the science of wine and wine making) we could wish for, giving our lecture and tours of the vineyards: Felix Indermaur.
As both a vintner and priest, Felix knows just about everything under the sun that there is to know about wine and so he was able to tie the beautiful strands of Berneck wine and church history together as one, in a way no other Oeneologist or viticulturist (someone who studies and cultivates grapevines).
But hey, I can still enjoy a little bit of the town garden’s while I’m at it right?!
But we weren’t there for sightseeing, we had things to learn so it was off on a hike up into the vineyards.
Berneck is the largest wine producing region in canton St. Gallen, with 42 hectars of vineyards, but on this day we concentrated on the region of Berneck known as Schlossbüchel and Rosenberg as we were visiting the vineyards of “Tobias Schmid und Sohn”.
Tobias Schmid founded the family business in 1866 that is run by the 4th and 5th generation of vintners.
After hiking up through the forest of Schlossbüchel we came to the Rosenberg estate and vineyards. On the hill overlooking the vineyards and Rhein valley we came to the Rosenbergschlössli (Rosenberg Castle) where we enjoyed our first wine tasting of the day.
Click on the photo to see the adorable little angel that keeps watch over this very special little place.
Our wine tasting at the Rosenbergschlössli was certainly one of the highlights of our day.
Continuing along the special public wine hiking path that takes you alongside the vineyards, we were able to learn a lot about the daily process of wine growing.
These flowers grew everywhere and are part of the organic system of wine growing.
The vintners grown roses and other flowering plants at the end of the vineyard rows to attract bees and other helpful insects.
Later we were given a tour of the cellars of Tobias Schmid and Son, where we learnt about their entire process of wine production.
But grapes are not the only fruit grown on the estate. Apples, cherries, plums and apricots are also grown to produce a selection of Grappa’s which the vineyard also distills and sells in its on location shop.
To end our seminar, we were able to sample a large selection of wines from Tobias Schmid and Son’s collection in the lovely Weinstube (Wine Pub) which is located in the ‘Winzerhaus’ (Vintner’s Vineyard Restaurant & Shop).
I hope you enjoyed my report of our wine seminar at Tobias Schmid and Son and please should you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me as they mean so much to me.
You can either comment here at the end of the post or send me a personal email.
I hope you have a lovely Sunday and that this has maybe given you a little inspiration and insight into wine growing and production in Switzerland.
(P.S. Links to websites of the places visited and mentioned in this post are provided throughout the text of this post. Just click on the highlighted words.)