Törggelen in Eppan
Hiking, wine and down-to-earth cuisine. When autumn draws to a close, it's Törggele time. After a beautiful autumn hike, you can fortify yourself in a cosy inn or Buschenschank with home-style cooking and a good drop of wine.
From late autumn to early winter there is an old custom in South Tyrol called "Törggelen". The custom begins with a hike through the autumnal and sunny landscape and ends in a convivial gathering in a cosy inn or Buschenschank with new wine, the "Nuien", and typical, solid home cooking: Surfleisch, Rippelen, sausages, sauerkraut and dumplings are served and as a sweet conclusion there are roasted chestnuts with Suser (grape must), "Bauernkrapfen and Strauben". And last but not least, a shot to fortify you for the walk home.
To discover the origins of this tradition, it is enough to take a look at the rural past. "Törggelen" most probably originated in the Eisack Valley. The villages here lie at the bottom of the valley or at medium altitude. The farmers in the valley have the vineyards but no pastures, while the farmers at the higher altitudes have livestock but cannot grow wine. Although this constellation applies almost to the whole of South Tyrol, in the Eisack Valley it developed into a barter system. The winegrower was allowed to send one or two head of cattle to the alpine pastures, and the valley farmer would return the favour with wine or an autumnal farmer's feast at which the new wine was tasted. The farmer's wife would bring all the delicacies that autumn had to offer to the table. The meat was slaughtered especially for the occasion, as there were no refrigerators back then. Depending on the size of the farm and the wealth of its owners, sur meat, ribs, sausages, cabbage and dumplings were served. The farmer proudly served his "Nuien". To round off the meal, roasted chestnuts were not to be missed - the sweet thirst-quenchers virtually demanded "Suser". Törggelen is in the blood of the South Tyroleans and so all attempts at historical explanations are just what they are: Attempts and nothing else. Experience Törggelen in Eppan for yourself.
What does the word Törggelen mean?
The word Törggelen comes from "Torkeln". Even though it may sometimes be true that staggering is part of the conclusion of a Törggele party: the word Törggelen comes from the word "Torggl" (Latin torculum), which in turn means wine press. In the broadest sense, this word thus describes the cause - and not the effect.
What is Törggelen anyway?
Törggelen describes a menu sequence. Even if it is common practice in some places to order "Einmal Törggelen!", this tends to cause amusement among some contemporaries. Törggelen rather describes the custom of walking from one farm to another to taste the "Nuien" (new wine), and not the menu sequence offered in restaurants.
Where can you go Törggelen?
In South Tyrol you can go Törggelen everywhere. Even if Törggelen is offered in different places, the fact is that it is a custom that originated in the wine regions. So if there is no wine growing far and wide, for example because you are in an alpine hut, it is rather unlikely that your own new wine will be offered for tasting.
When can you go Törggelen?
Törggelen can be enjoyed all year round. Törggelen is not regulated in terms of time. But since it has to do with chestnuts and wine, you can assume that it falls in the harvest season of both and begins around the beginning/middle of October and lasts until the first Sunday in Advent. Anything else means dragging out a lucrative business. Which is not a bad thing, but anything but authentic.
Törggele places in Eppan
You can enjoy traditional Törggelen in the following establishments in Eppan on the South Tyrolean Wine Road:
Paulserhof vaulted cellar
Beer garden - Pizzeria - Restaurant Eppanerhof