Ah Switzerland! Your ski-resort-studded peaks and culinary treats call to us, but your price tag makes many think twice. Fortunately, culinary travelers can take solace in knowing that wine tasting in Switzerland’s Thurgau wine region—just outside of Zurich—comes at a good price, and regardless of whether or not you’re a budget traveler, the wine is top notch.
Thurgau serves up a Swiss countryside straight out of The Sound of Music. It is known as a cyclist’s paradise thanks to bucolic fields, farms, castles, serene Lake Constance, the Rhine River, and the snowy Alps in the distance. The Thurgau wine region has more than 200 wineries, and, though it is best known for its Muller-Thurgau white wines, many wine aficionados skip over this Tuesday-night wine for the area’s true wine treasure: its pinot noirs.
Wine tasting in Thurgau is easy to arrange thanks to a Switzerland’s excellent roadways and the friendly folks running the wineries. Saturday is the best day for wine tasting, and below you’ll find a selection of wineries that offer English-language wine tastings in Thurgau. For wine tasting on other days, be sure to make an appointment in advance with one of the wineries featured below.
Ever since Switzerland introduced an appellation controlee system in 1990, its wines have been growing in quality, and, many Thurgau wineries excel at producing a light and delicate pinot, some of which were featured at last year’s 1st International Spätburgunder Symposium . Most recently, its pinot noirs have been turning palates around the world—from Oregon to China—and the Thur Valley, in particular, with towns such as Iselisberg, Weiningen, Dietingen, Uesslingen, and Neunforn, which has the greatest concentration of wine tasting options.
Rent a car in Zurich, and drive toward Uesslingen and Frauenfeld. As the undulating valleys and vineyards pick up, take the small roads over to Weinfelden (literally wine field). A number of hotels in a number of price ranges are located fifteen minutes away on Lake Constance, or you can find several B&B and small hotel options in the small towns. The Falken Pub & Motel in Frauenfeld is a good hotel for budget travelers, and, if you’re traveling in good weather, camping is also an option.
Thurgau Wine Tasting Guide
Schlossgut Bachtobel , Weinfelden, offers free wine tastings on Saturdays, June to September from 10am to 2pm. Other times by appointment for $15 per person. Bottles run $10-75. English-language tastings
Weingut Wolfer , Weinfelden, offers free wine tastings on Saturdays. Other times by appointment for $15 per person. English-language tastings
Contact: Martin Wolfer.
Weingut Lenz, Uesslingen, offers wine tastings for free on Saturdays. Appointments also accepted. English-language tastings.
Contact: Roland Lenz
Broger Weinbau , Ottoberg, offers wine tastings by appointment for free. Limited English but the winery is more than happy to pour their good wine for winelovers.
Contact: Michael Broger
Jakob Meier, Berlingen, offers wine tastings by appointment for $16. The winery staff does not speak “perfect” English, but they are happy to share the wines and good cheer!
Weingut Burkhart, Weinfelden
Contact: Michael Burkhart
Weingut Saxer, Nussbaumen
Contact: Fredi & Madeleine Saxer
Written by Mattie Bamman for EuropeUpClose.com