A rural folk tradition
Autumn takes away the warm summer days, and as the leaves fall and the colours change, the nature around Passo delle Erbe finds its quiet.
The emotions of summer remain a sweet memory spent with friends on new trails in these mountains.
With a hint of melancholy at the thought of leaving behind the long summer days, the walks in shorts, the smell of freshly cut hay, autumn makes its slow entrance, tinging the landscape in shades of yellow, red and orange. The cattle return to the stables after having grazed in the alpine pastures, taking away the sound of the cowbells that we had grown accustomed to during the summer months. In the mountains, one can still savour the changing of the seasons, accompanied by the Ladin rural traditions.
In the wine-growing fields of South Tyrol, the autumn represents the time of the harvest of wine grapes.
The South Tyrolean wine-growing areas is land of 20 different vine varieties, producing typical wines such as Gewürztraminer, Lagrein, Sylvaner
With the grape harvest starts the South Tyrolean farming tradition of Törggelen.
Once upon a time, the crushing of the grapes was ending with a banquet attended by winegrowers, labourers and all those who had taken part in the harvest and crushing. The banquet originally took place in the cellar inside the local farm. Later, farms began to open the doors to the public as well, no longer in the cellar but in the stube, the traditional room with the stove. A branch outside the farmhouse was to indicate to travellers that they could enter to taste the local wine and specialities.
The word 'Törggelen' comes from the Latin word torculum, the wooden tool used in the past to press the grapes.
During the period of Törggelen, the tradition is still to walk from farmstead to farmstead to appreciate what nature has to offer in the season that is drawing to a close.
The gastronomy is varied and from local farming traditions: roast chestnuts, the typical funnel cake (strauben), bread dumplings with sauerkraut, speck and sausages. Drinks are especially new wine and homemade syrups.
Nowadays, the Törggelen festival has not lost its symbolism as a convivial and festive moment spent with friends and relatives in a rustic and informal atmosphere amidst music, songs and good food, after a walk in the woods and through vineyards and old villages.
Törggelen also brings our summer season to an end: on the 16 October Ütia de Börz will close for a short break, to reopen before Christmas.
What better time than Törggelen to enjoy the foliage and tranquillity of the mountains?