TÖRGGELEN: A MOUTHWATERING TRADITION OF WINE AND CHESTNUTS
Wine, precious nectar, is not made from one day to the next: When harvest time comes around at the end of summer, life at the vineyard revolves around the pressing of the grapes, slowly transforming grape to must. During the “Törggelen” season, a popular and much-loved South Tyrolean custom, you can sample the new vintages: the “Siaße” grape juice, the fermented must known as “Sturm” and the “Nuie” new wine are all served with everything that a farm has to offer in autumn. The word Törggelen derives from the German term “Torggl” referring to the grape press used in the cellars. And it was in these cellars where, in times gone by, farmers gathered together with guests, family, friends and neighbours to sample the freshly-pressed juice. The labourers and farmhands who took care of the Alpine huts in the summer months were all invited to join in the festivities. It wasn’t long before the custom of Törggelen spread its reach to the surrounding lands and towns, and the autumn tradition caught on rapidly, particularly in the area around the Isarco Valley and Bolzano. After Sunday Mass and Sunday lunch, families would set out on a leisurely walk to admire the autumn landscape and stop in at the “Buschenschänke”, the traditional farmhouse taverns. “Siaße” was ordered for children and “Nuie” was brought to the table for adults, accompanied by chestnuts and walnuts fresh from the tree. “Kaminwurz” smoked salami was served together with “Schüttelbrot” bread, all home-produced in entirety. And when the sun had set, armed with torches, they would make their way homewards. A curiosity: At one time, the homemade sausages that are today served during the Törggelen season appeared on the table much later in the year, as butchering time was determined by the lower temperatures.
(by Renate Mumelter - translated into English - Photos: IDM)
Experience "Törggelen" in Bolzano: