Wine culture at Oberraindlhof:
Time for happiness in a glass!
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Wine culture at Oberraindlhof: Time for happiness in a glass!

From wine refuser to wine connoisseur? It's possible! The best example is senior chef Helmuth. Until 2005, Helmut didn't drink a drop. And today? Today Helmut knows the world of wine like no one else in the Schnals Valley, and the wine festival at Oberraindlhof has long since become a cult event. Speaking of cult: the glass culture of the Oberraindl sommeliers has almost religious traits. It has to be mouth-blown! But always from the front ...

How it all began with wine ...

If you're a South Tyrolean hotel, you have to deal with alcohol. For Helmut, senior manager at Oberraindlhof, this was a rather unpleasant duty until 2005. Because he himself hardly ever drank anything. One day his good friend, Joachim Nischler from the Lindenhof in Naturno, persuaded him to come along on a wine trip. And it was on this trip that our Helmut was gripped by vinological fever. The "wine pope" Peter Dipoli preached with incomparable devotion that Helmut came back to the Schnals Valley as a wine lover. This was only right for Elisabeth, because now she knew what she could give her husband for his birthday: A sommelier course. One was to become three and Helmut was seized by ambition: In no time at all he was a trained sommelier. In the same year he organised - with the diligent support of Jochim Nischler, who was somehow "to blame" for the wine euphoria - the first wine week at Oberraindlhof. Even Peter Dipoli was there with his immense wine knowledge and other wine connoisseurs wanted to see what was being poured and served here at Oberraindl. This illustrious group now calls itself "the wine stones".

But that is such a wonderfully peculiar story, it shall be told another time. At this point, it is a matter of the heart for Helmut to say thank you to his comrades for their decades of support and unconditional friendship!

A cellar full of specialities and memorable tastings

Run-of-the-mill never enters the glass at Oberraindlhof. In the well-tempered cellar, over 450 labels are waiting to be discovered and experienced. Because that is exactly what the weekly wine tastings that Helmuth organises for our guests are: an experience! By the way, those who are not (yet) well-versed in "terroir" and "tears" need not shy away: even absolute "wine beginners" are most welcome. And those who otherwise tend to be "label drinkers" (but of course would never admit it!) can look forward to many a surprise and moment of liquid enlightenment.

Glass art from the pearl on the Inn

Of course, there is more to wine culture at Oberraindlhof than the art of winemaking. For Helmuth and junior chef Benjamin, the "how" is just as important as the "what". And so they serve our fine wines exclusively in glasses from the North Tyrolean glass experts at Riedel. The mouth-blown glasses from Kufstein are always perfectly matched to the contents and when one of the 25 exclusive Riedel decanters is brought to the table, the vinological excitement knows no bounds. But this spectacle simply has to be experienced. Perhaps the best opportunity to do so is the Oberraindl Wine Week, which takes place for the eighteenth time in 2023. You can book right here, as always the places are more sought after than warm rolls!

Sommelier with passion