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Il mio Malcantone!

High above Ponte Tresa, between Lago di Lugano and Lago Maggiore, is the vineyard of the Zündel family.

When the natural scientist Christian Zündel came to Ticino in the 1970s, wine-growing in southern Switzerland was considered a “wasteland”. Many producers’ quality expectations were still miles behind today’s standards. But Zündel was different. As an expert in soil science, he was perfectly suited to work in the vineyards. For him, wine-making was not insignificant, but secondary, and anyone who knows anything about wine-growing knows that good or excellent wines are created in the vineyard and not in the cellar. Zündel consistently committed himself to organic, and later biodynamic, cultivation. Since 2019, the Zündel vineyard has even been Demeter certified. Today, organic cultivation is considered good form in the world of wine.

New generation with new ideas Myra Zündel, Christian’s daughter, has big shoes to fill, but quickly established herself in the world of wine-growing, which is certainly also down to her open, curious and self-confident nature. She shares with her father a passion for natural cultivation and minimalist interventions in the production process.

Myra’s new white wine “Erbaluce”, a grape variety from nearby Piedmont, has a wonderful (salty) minerality, aromas of grapefruit, lime, jasmine as well as notes of chalk and limestone. In addition to the “Orrizonte” created by her father and known beyond the country’s borders, this is the wine that she made her first mark with. We are looking forward to the Zündel family’s next projects.


Gone to the pigs


The Duroc meat products are backed by a regional community of three farmers and one meat producer: the Schätti family (SG), Ueli Tanner (AR), Ruedi Huber (AI) and Gustav Spiess AG in Berneck. The transport routes from rearing to slaughter and also the distribution cover a small area. As such, the concept fits perfectly with our philosophy of producing regionally. But also the quality standards in rearing, processing and taste meet our high demands.

The breed
Today’s Duroc pig breed originates from the United States and is a cross between different strains of redhaired pigs. The breed standard was set as early as 1885. The large-framed Duroc pig is solid coloured with a light red to reddish brown colouring. Another characteristic are the small floppy ears. Some small black pigment spots are also found in this breed. These cheerful, stress-resistant Duroc pigs are characterised by their docile nature and healthy constitution. They are very robust and can be kept outside even in low temperatures. Their pigmented skin protects them from sunburn when exposed to intense sunlight – making them ideal for free-range husbandry. Duroc sows produce a lot of milk and have the best mothering qualities.

The meat is evenly streaked with fine veins of fat. This high proportion of intramuscular fat makes it extremely juicy and tender. A top-class delicacy.




“Nature does not have to be changed... there is nothing to be improved upon!”

In 1984, Urs Hecht took over his father Fritz’s mobile contract distillery. With that, he discovered his calling. A new building for the distillery and sales would soon be constructed at Grasweg 26 in Gunzwil, Lucerne. The next milestone came in 2008: the construction of a wooden building containing a distillery, fruit storage and ripening facilities.

The distillery is a real family business. Urs Hecht, his wife Theres and their three children, together with motivated employees, help to distil spirits that have been awarded gold medals. Through discipline and dedication, Urs Hecht’s schnapps has reached the very top. Both at home and around the world. Relentless pursuit of “Quintaesencia”, or quintessence, the art of distilling in its purest form. He takes his cue from nature. The high-trunk trees, grown over generations, are his particular pride and joy. Their fruits are the perfect basis for premium quality fruit schnapps. Urs Hecht has a deep respect for nature’s resources and for people. The ripening cellar is located seven metres below ground level, where constant temperatures guarantee the balanced maturation of the spirits. And the barrels represent the best of cooper craftsmanship, made from oak and cherry wood.

The master’s experience and intuition are key to achieving the perfect harmony of his distillates. He chooses the time when the fruit distillates are bottled from the barrels. Those are truly magical moments.

Selected fruits from regional farms, grown on healthy high-trunk trees, are the basic requirement for the applied sustainability and the success of the Urs Hecht distillery. The scent of the ripe fruit is intoxicating during harvest time. In the distillery, however, it is the aroma of the distillates that is intoxicating.

Portrait Alp Maran

The Koflers and "their" dairy cows

Every night between 3 and 4 o’clock the bells ring on the Alp Maran. Namely, when the South Tyroleans Thomas and Andrea Kofler and their two daughters bring the cows into the barn for milking. For us, this is an idyllic experience. We can turn over and sleep comfortably on. For the Koflers, however, who bring the cows from outside to the barn twice a day and twice a night throughout the summer, milk them and then take them back to one of the many pastures on Maran and in the surrounding area in a fixed rotation, depending on the state of the vegetation, it means exhausting “shift work”. Added to this is the burden of responsibility for the 60 or so cows that are sent to Arosa for their “summer vacations” by the various farmers in the region. But it is a nice job, says Thomas Kofler. In the meantime, he can also sleep well and is no longer so anxious about the safety of the cows, he continues.

Anyone who meets the Koflers on the way in one of the pastures senses their passion for the responsible task during a chat. Their two daughters, Hanna and Lina, also really get into their job and can tell you a lot about the individual pastures and the names and characteristics of the cows.

The Maran Alp is one of four cow pastures belonging to the civic community of Chur in Arosa. The three other alps Sattel, Prätsch and Carmenna deliver their milk with "pipelines" directly to the alpine dairy Maran. A total of around 400,000 liters of milk from all four alps are processed into high-quality products such as alp cheese, Mutschli, yogurt, butter, etc.


When men travel together

It all began on a 50th birthday. A group of friends from Aargau, all of them dads, were looking for an original gift for a pal’s 50th. As it needed to be something out of the ordinary, they chose a sausage-making workshop at a local butcher’s. On a subsequent two-day moped trip, they came up with the bold idea of putting their newly acquired skills into practice and making their own sausages. Their aim was to use as few flavourings and preservatives as possible in order to keep the product family-friendly. They got to work on their first attempts in their moped garage, trying out numerous variations – all of which needed to be exclusive – containing ingredients from their own gardens. They tested the first sausages with their own quail eggs, experimenting with truffles and crazy combinations of prunes and Vielle Prune – always using their own families as ‘guinea pigs’. Some of their efforts got the thumbs-up, although most didn’t! The kids loved the marjoram-flavoured sausage on pizza, but the adults vetoed this idea. The recipe that our guests at the Isblaatere have now been enjoying for some time slowly came together – a homemade sausage consisting of pork, neck fat (which is of a far higher quality than the otherwise used belly fat), onions, leek, eggs, Oeil de Perdrix rosé wine (what else would you expect from a group of hobby gourmets?) and seasoning. At the Isblaatere, we serve the homemade sausage with smoked salt and the homemade sausage with chilli. The chillies for the latter initially still came from our hobby gourmets’ own gardens, although they now buy most of these in the region. All of the sausages are made by hand and weighed.

Unique selling point – the homes of the hobby gourmets aside, the Isblaatere is the only place in the world that serves these sausages.

GePa Gemüse Germann

From the farm to the table

25-year-old Patrik Germann is a farmer with heart and soul. Growing up as a farmer’s son, he knows what’s important and already lent a hand everywhere at a young age, whether in the barn or on the pasture.

In 2018, Patrik made a strategic and thus for him a trend-setting decision. He converted his own farm from dairy farming to vegetable production. And rather uncharacteristically for a farmer, he went out and knocked on the doors of hotels and restaurants in the region in classic “door-to-door” fashion, trying to sell his products. He now serves around 32 hotels, two restaurants and over 200 private customers with two of his own vehicles. Fruits and vegetables come either from the company’s own farm or from six other farmers in the region, with a total of over 200 hectares of farmland.

We became aware of “GePa” through its rich assortment of berries. The quality convinced us from the very beginning. Due to the regional cooperation and the short transport routes, “GePa” guarantees us optimal freshness and a significantly longer shelf life than suppliers from the wholesale trade. In this way, we not only promote regional trade, but also do something against food waste.


Of Berbers
and herbs

Their home is in the southernmost tip of Grisons, on the “Lago di Poschiavo”, or more precisely in the little village of Cantone: The native of Puschlaver and agronomist ETH, organic and herb farmer and breeder of noble Berber horses Elmo Zanetti. He lives there with his family, on the border with the Valtellina.

Together, the family grows over 30 tea herbs and flowering plants on the sunny slopes and in the fertile Val Poschiavo. These ingredients are gently dried, defoliated, mixed and packaged on the farm – so the added value stays in the valley.

Relax with a cup of tea: What could be better than a delightful cup of tea in the morning? Try the versatile varieties from Val Poschiavo and feel the warmth of South Grisons.

Frida K.

Apple mint, lady’s mantle and pink cornflowers.
Reminiscent of a woman whose art still touches and fascinates today. A tea for all strong women, but can also be drunk by men.


Various mountain herbs, edelweiss and red cornflowers.
A classic that almost always fits.


Gott erhalt’s

The next time you drive from Chur over or through the San Bernardino, you should definitely take a right in Andeer first. In the small Graubünden mountain village, not only the mineral spring with bath and the church stand in the middle of the village, but also the alpine dairy. In one house, people sing praises to the Lord, in the other to the raw milk cheeses of Maria Meyer and Floh Bienerth. This even seduces the priest… The numerous national and international awards speak for the round loaves of the two cheese makers.

This flea, who packs the round of life into cheese, is a special man. For a long time he tended cows and goats in the Grisons Alps, processing their milk into fine cheese. In the alpine world he thought about life in general and in particular, learned a lot about the rhythm of the cows and about the weather, about his own limits and how to break them. Since then, he has been putting exactly this roundness of life into his cheese wheels. And we, who buy the cheese in the alpine dairy Andeer, feel this roundness, this love for life, for nature and for cheese.

“Preserving instead of growing is our basic philosophy, and if you choose to preserve, the system stays as it is or even gets better,” philosophizes Floh Bienerth. The desire to create added value with their products is great for Floh and his wife Maria Meyer.

Anyone who thinks this is banal marketing blah-blah really needs to take a right turn in Andeer, or even more conveniently: order a cheese plate at the Maran farm dinner – with a bit of luck, one or the other “Möckli” cheese from Maria and Floh will be on it. Ask our staff about it.




Fläsch –
das Burgund der Schweiz

Fläsch, die kleinste der vier Weinbaugemeinden in der Bündner Herrschaft, gilt unter Weinkennern als Schmuckstück und beherbergt einige namhafte und bekannte Winzer. Auf der rechten Rheinseite gelegen ist das Dorf am Fusse des Fläscherbergs und unterhalb der St. Luzisteig wunderbar in die herrschäftliche Landschaft eingebettet. Das Winzerdorf lebt von und mit Wein – ein Kulturgut, das Menschen verbindet.

Die Familie Thomas und Edith Marugg betreibt ihr Weingut nun in der dritten Generation. Ursprünglich ausgerichtet auf gemischte Landwirtschaft mit Viehhaltung, Ackerbau und Weinbau hat sie ab den 80er-Jahren komplett umgestellt auf Selbstkelterung. Bereits im Jahr 1997 hat Thomas Marugg das Weingut übernommen. Zusammen mit seiner Familie bewirtschaftet er fünf Hektar gepflegte Rebberge in besten Lagen und vinifiziert sortentypische und charaktervolle Weine und Spezialitäten.

«Den Grundstein für grosse Weine legt das Terroir, das selbst unter dem Einfluss zahlreicher Faktoren steht: Nacht- und Tagestemperaturen, Niederschlagsmenge, Sonnenscheinstunden, Hangneigung und Bodenbeschaffenheit. Als göttliche Segnung vollendet der Föhn, auch «Traubenkocher» genannt, das natürliche Werk. Diesem Geschenk der Natur begegnen wir mit Respekt und bewirtschaften daher unsere Rebberge bewusst naturschonend. Nur so können wir für die kommende Generation eine fruchtbare und lebenswerte Erde erhalten.

Das Terroir allein genügt jedoch nicht, um einen aussergewöhnlichen, von Güte und unvergesslichem Trinkgenuss geprägten Wein zu erzeugen. Es gehören eine Portion Tradition für das altbewährte Handwerk, aber auch eine Prise Innovationsgeist für die kellertechnischen Möglichkeiten dazu. Die Herausforderung ist der sorgfältige Ausbau der Weine, um den authentischen und sortentypischen Charakter der Rebsorten spür- und erlebbar zu machen. In unserem architektonisch gestalteten Barriquekeller reifen die Weine in mystischer Ruhe ihrer Vollendung entgegen – ein Kellergeflüster der besonderen Art. Erleben Sie dieses faszinierende Ambiente mit all Ihren Sinnen – am besten mit einem genussvollen Glas Wein.»



«Wir lieben Glace, das nach dem schmeckt, was drinsteckt»

Glatsch ist romanisch und steht für Glace. Mit dem Namen betonen die beiden Glace-Macher Heike Schulze und Holger Schmidt aus Surava seit 2013 ihre regionale Herkunft. Und der Name ist Programm. Verarbeitet werden hauptsächlich lokale Zutaten. Die BIO-Milch liefert der Landwirt Andri Devonas aus dem eigenen Dorf und der Rahm kommt aus dem nahegelegenen Puracenter in der Lenzerheide. Bei den Früchten ist eine gleichbleibend hohe Qualität für den Geschmack entscheidend. Deshalb werden, wo immer möglich, regionale Früchte eingesetzt – zum Beispiel hochreife BIO-Erdbeeren aus Tomils.

Doch nicht nur die Produkte tragen zur hohen Qualität der diversen Glacesorten von Glatsch Balnot bei. Im Gegensatz zur industriellen Fertigung von Glace wird bei der handwerklichen Herstellung viel weniger Luft eingeschlagen. Das führt zu einer deutlich feineren und cremigeren Konsistenz.  Der Erfolg gibt den beiden Glace-Machern recht. Sie beliefern aus dem kleinen Dorf im Naturpark Ela mittlerweile viele Restaurationsbetriebe vom Engadin bis nach Zürich.

Tipp: Probieren Sie bei uns mal das herrlich erfrischende, leicht säuerliche und erst noch gesunde Sanddornsorbet (laktose- und glutenfrei, vegan). Ein «Gaumenerfrischer» nach einem üppigen Abendessen.

Atlantischer Lachs, kaltgeräuchert im Hof Maran

Räuchern ist Chefsache!

Wenn hinter dem Hotel Rauchzeichen aufsteigen, ist unser Küchenchef Cyrill Pflugi mal wieder am Werk. Als Koch war er international tätig und hat auf einer seiner Stationen in Schottland direkt von den Meistern «The Art of Smoking» erlernt. 

Wie macht man Rauchlachs? 

Die Lachse werden nach dem Schlachten in Schottland auf dem kürzesten Weg in die Schweiz transportiert und vom Fischhändler nach Arosa geliefert. Nach dem Filetieren werden die Lachsseiten für rund 48 Stunden in einer geheimen, aus 13 Zutaten bestehenden Marinade, die nur dem Küchenchef und der Direktion bekannt ist, eingelegt. Das Marinieren ist jedoch nur die halbe Miete. 

Lachsräuchern ist eine Kunst und braucht viel Geduld und Fingerspitzengefühl. Zu viel Hitze beim Räuchern erzeugt Bitterstoffe und lässt die Fischfilets schlimmstenfalls sogar garen. Beides ist nicht erwünscht. Der geräucherte Lachs soll mild im Geschmack, mit süsslichen Rauchnoten und fest im Biss sein. Diese Veredelung macht den Lachs gleichzeitig auch länger haltbar. Dabei hat der Fettgehalt des Fisches einen Einfluss auf die Haltbarkeit – je höher der Fettgehalt, umso kürzer die Haltbarkeit. Wir empfehlen unseren Gästen, unseren hausgeräucherten, schottischen «Label Rouge» Lachs innerhalb von einer Woche zu geniessen. 

Schon gewusst? 

Als erstes nicht-französisches Produkt und als erster Fisch überhaupt erhielt schottischer Zuchtlachs im Jahr 1992 das «Label Rouge»-Gütesiegel. Mit dieser Auszeichnung wird hohe Qualität garantiert. Die Kriterien für die Zucht sind sehr streng, beschränken die Besatzdichte und garantieren die lückenlose Rückverfolgbarkeit von der Lachsfarm bis zum Händler. Auf das Tierwohl und den Schutz der Umwelt wird ebenfalls grosses Augenmerk gelegt. 

«Lachsräuchern ist eine Kunst und braucht viel Geduld und Fingerspitzengefühl.»


Die «Wachtelmutter» Imelda Schmid

In ihrer Dissertation (1997) an der Uni Bern zum Thema «Entwicklung einer tiergerechten Wachtelhaltung» hat Imelda Schmid nicht nur den Grundstein für die Richtlinien der Wachtelhaltung gelegt, sondern auch für ihre Zukunft. Bis zu dem Zeitpunkt war lediglich die Zucht und Haltung von Legehennen reglementiert. Für die kleinen Wachteln jedoch war die herkömmliche Batteriehaltung eben nicht tiergerecht genug. Die promovierte Biologin setzte im Jahr 1998 ihr Wissen dann in die Tat um und baute im Oberengadin in S-chanf Schritt für Schritt eine Wachtelzucht auf. Heute verbindet sie ihr Hobby, das Liegevelofahren, mit dem Beruf und liefert die Eier an die regionalen Kunden – ganz CO2-neutral – per Velo aus. 

Die kleinsten Vertreterinnen der Familie der Hühnervögel sind die Wachteln. Es gibt von ihnen weltweit rund 40 verschiedene Arten. Als Ziervögel werden etwa 22 Arten gehalten. Domestiziert wurde nur die Japanwachtel, Coturnix japonica. Die Wildform ist ein Zugvogel, der in den Regionen der Russischen Föderation östlich des Baikalsees, in China, Korea, Japan, in der Mandschurei und in der Mongolei verbreitet ist. 

Die Nährstoffzusammensetzung des Wachteleis ist insgesamt sehr ähnlich wie beim Hühnerei. Wertvoll ist der hohe Gehalt an B-Vitaminen sowie an Eisen und Zink. Eier gelten generell als hochwertiges Nahrungsmittel, vor allem in der vegetarischen Ernährung. Im Prinzip sind Wachteleier wie Hühnereier zu verwenden. Hartgekocht, geschält und halbiert bereichern und verschönern sie z. B. Salate, Hors-d’oeuvre-Platten oder belegte Brote. Dank ihrer hübschen und variablen Musterung eignen sie sich hartgekocht auch sehr gut als essbare Tischdekoration. Wachtelspiegeleier, z. B. auf Toast oder in einem Kresse-Nest, sind nicht nur eine Augenweide, sondern schmecken auch vorzüglich.

Weingut Wegelin

Bio-Lagenweine aus der Bündner Herrschaft

Für die Macher der Wegelin-Weine steht die Qualität ohne Zweifel an oberster Stelle. Das Wissen um die Besonderheiten der verschiedenen Lagen wie Scadena, Weisstorkel, Bothmarhalde, Spiger und Frassa treibt sie an und um. Wer die Gelegenheit hat, die verschiedenen Lagenweine nebeneinander zu degustieren, sollte dies unbedingt einmal ausprobieren. Die Weine präsentieren sich nicht als «Einheitsbrei», sondern zeigen Charakter und die Eigenheiten der entsprechenden Terroirs. 

Die charaktervollsten Weine entstehen aus der Lage Scadena. Das Weingut bezeichnet die Lage auch als «unser Herzstück». Zwei verschiedene Rüfen schoben Sandkalke, Phyllite, dunkle Kalke und Tonschiefer in den Weinberg. Das bringt Weine hervor, die sehr kompakt und elegant wirken, mit einer saftigen Tanninstruktur. Wer sich etwas auskennt mit Weinen, weiss, dass die Struktur der Tannine elementar ist für die Qualität von Weinen und wenig Einfluss auf die Langlebigkeit der Weine hat, sondern viel mehr auf die Lagerbedürftigkeit. Gut Ding will Weile haben, und so sollte man sich vor dem Genuss der Scadena-Weine schon ein paar Jährchen Zeit lassen.

Die alte Weisheit, dass gute und herausragende Weine im Rebberg und nicht im Keller entstehen, bestätigt sich bei Wegelin auf eindrückliche Weise. Es entspricht der Philosophie der Weinmacher, den Weinen Zeit zu lassen und die natürlichen Prozesse möglichst wenig zu beeinflussen. Sie nutzen fast ausschliesslich wilde Hefen, nur wenig Schwefel und keine weiteren Zusätze. Das birgt ein gewisses Risiko und braucht ein grosses Wissen um die Gär- und Reifeprozesse. Der Aufwand lohnt sich jedoch allemal. So entstehen charaktervolle Weine, die Lust auf ein zweites Glas machen. Was wollen wir mehr?


Alte Tradition auf dem Vormarsch

Text: Patricia Mariani für Agricultura, dem Magazin der Kleinbauern-Vereinigung

In der Berglandwirtschaft dominiert heute die Tierhaltung. Könnten auch im Alpenraum mehr pflanzliche Lebensmittel angebaut werden? Das Beispiel der Genossenschaft Gran Alpin in Graubünden zeigt, was möglich ist. Der Anbau von Getreide prägte über Jahrhunderte das Landschaftsbild vieler Teile der Alpen und Voralpen. Die damaligen Bergbauern nutzten starke und zähe Getreidesorten, die den langen und kalten Wintern standhielten – Roggen beispielsweise wächst bis auf 2’000 m ü. M. Erst die landwirtschaftliche Mechanisierung und Spezialisierung sorgten dafür, dass sich der Ackerbau aus Gründen der Effizienz fast vollständig ins Schweizer Mittelland verlagerte. Viel Wissen über den Bergackerbau, aber auch die grosse Vielfalt an robusten Getreidesorten sind dadurch verloren gegangen. Damit verarmte nicht nur ein Teil des kulturellen und kulinarischen Erbes der Alpen, sondern auch die Biodiversität. Was heute unter standortangepasster Landwirtschaft verstanden wird, nämlich die Spezialisierung auf Viehhaltung im Berggebiet, ist historisch gesehen also ein eher neueres Phänomen. 

Alte Tradition auf dem Vormarsch

Es sprechen aber nicht nur nostalgische und ökologische Gründe dafür, die alte Tradition des Bergackerbaus wieder aufzunehmen. «Der Ackerbau vermindert für die Bergbäuerinnen und Bergbauern die Gefahren einer einseitigen Ausrichtung auf die Viehwirtschaft», erklärt Maria Egenolf, Geschäftsleiterin der Genossenschaft Gran Alpin. «Eine vielseitige Bewirtschaftung ermöglicht auch in der Berglandwirtschaft eine bessere Düngerbewirtschaftung und damit eine nachhaltigere Pflege von Feldern und Wiesen.» Die Genossenschaft Gran Alpin wurde 1987 von einer Gruppe Bünder Bergbauern in Tiefencastel gegründet mit dem Ziel, dem Bergackerbau im Kanton wieder auf die Sprünge zu helfen und dessen Produkte professioneller zu vermarkten. Dabei bekannte sich die Genossenschaft von Anfang an auch zu einer ökologischen Bewirtschaftung. Pestizide sind seit der Gründung untersagt, 1996 erfolgte die offizielle Umstellung auf das Knospe-Prinzip von Bio Suisse. «Der Bio-Anteil ist in Graubünden schon generell hoch, das hat die klare Ausrichtung erleichtert», so Maria Egenolf. Insgesamt 110 Höfe belieferten Gran Alpin im Jahr 2021 und produzierten zusammen rund 700 Tonnen Bio-Berggetreide. Jedes Jahr kommen 10 bis 15 neue Betriebe hinzu. «Beim Roggen mussten wir die Menge letztes Jahr begrenzen, da der Absatz fehlt. Aktuell suchen wir vor allem noch Produzenten für Brau- und Speisegerste, Buchweizen und Dinkel. Das Wachstum wird aber bei den meisten Kulturen aktuell eher seitens der Verarbeitung gebremst», erklärt sie. 

Starke regionale Wertschöpfung und Verankerung

Eine logische Folge: Der jahrzehntelange Rückgang des Getreideanbaus im Berggebiet ging einher mit der Schliessung der meisten Mühlen. Momentan nutzt Gran Alpin zwei Verarbeitungsbetriebe im Bergell sowie im Puschlav. Dinkel, Emmer und Mais werden hingegen im Kanton Glarus vermahlen. Als Grossabnehmer für Weizen und Rollgerste kam Anfang der Nullerjahre der Grossverteiler Coop hinzu, der die damit hergestellten Produkte unter dem Pro-Montagna-Label verkauft. Auch die Brauerei Locher in Appenzell, die aus Bündner Bio-Braugerste das Gran-Alpin-Bier braut, wurde ein wichtiger Abnehmer. Für den Sprung aus der Nische ist die Zusammenarbeit mit grossen Partnern hilfreich. Dennoch ist Maria Egenolf stolz darauf, dass einer der wichtigsten Vertriebskanäle nach wie vor der Verkauf in Graubünden selbst ist. Über 100 Bündner Dorf- und Hofläden, aber auch diverse Bäckereien, Restaurants und Hotels im ganzen Kanton verkaufen die Mehle, Körner oder Flocken von Gran Alpin oder verarbeiten diese weiter. Im Vorstand von Gran Alpin sitzen Bäuerinnen und Bauern aus verschiedenen Bündner Tälern, dies erleichtert den direkten Draht zur Basis. Aber auch übergeordnet, sprich mit den kantonalen Behörden, mit der landwirtschaftlichen Ausbildung und Beratung, funktioniert die Zusammenarbeit. «Wir hatten von Anfang an die Unterstützung des Plantahofs in Landquart, das war enorm wichtig für den Aufbau von Gran Alpin», bilanziert Maria Egenolf. 

Intensive Tierhaltung als Hindernis 

Trotz des professionellen Vertriebsnetzwerks und der praktischen Unterstützung wolle aber nach wie vor nicht jeder Berglandwirt Getreide anbauen, selbst wenn die topografischen Bedingungen passten. «Auch im Berggebiet haben viele Betriebe in den letzten Jahren auf eine Intensivierung in der Tierhaltung gesetzt und zum Beispiel grössere Ställe gebaut. Hochleistungsrassen brauchen genügend Futter, und im Bio-Landbau muss dieses grösstenteils vom eigenen Betrieb kommen, wodurch alle vorhandenen Flächen fürs Vieh gebraucht werden», erklärt sie. Gran Alpin veröffentlichte letztes Jahr eine Vergleichsrechnung, die zeigt, dass es sich trotzdem finanziell lohnt, eine Kuh weniger zu halten und stattdessen einen Hektar Berggetreide anzubauen. Es profitiert aber nicht nur der einzelne Betrieb, sondern auch die Wertschöpfung in der gesamten Region. Ein spannender Ansatz, der auch in anderen Bergkantonen und gerade angesichts der Diskussion um Klimaziele Potenzial hat. Der Austausch mit anderen Kantonen findet jedoch erst sporadisch statt. Beispielsweise mit dem Kanton Wallis, wo der Roggenanbau dank AOC-Zertifizierung des Walliser Roggenbrots seit 2004 ebenfalls wieder zunimmt. Gibt es denn politische Hürden, die dem Bergackerbau im Wege stehen? Seit der letzten Agrarreform 14/17 fühle man sich auch von der nationalen Agrarpolitik grösstenteils getragen. Diese fördert den Bergackerbau u. a. zusätzlich mit Landschaftsqualitätsbeiträgen. Mehr Unterstützung wünschen sich die Bäuerinnen und Bauern von Gran Alpin hingegen seitens der Forschung. «Berggetreidesorten werden in der klassischen Pflanzenzüchtung vernachlässigt. Da wäre noch grosses Potenzial vorhanden», meint Maria Egenolf. Nach wie vor sei man deshalb auf das persönliche Engagement von einzelnen Landwirten, die Zeit in die Saatgutvermehrung investieren, oder den renommierten Getreideforscher Peer Schilperoord angewiesen. Letzterer hat den Aufbau der Genossenschaft Gran Alpin stark mitgeprägt und wirkt noch heute in diversen Projekten bei der Neuentwicklung von Sorten mit. Das Beispiel Gran Alpin zeigt, dass auch im Berggebiet neben der Tierhaltung noch viel Potenzial vorhanden ist. Voraussetzung eines solchen Projekts ist jedoch, dass alle am selben Strick ziehen: Produzentinnen und Produzenten, Verarbeiterinnen und Verarbeiter, Gewerbe, Behörden und auch die Politik. Die Tierhaltung wird immer einen wichtigen Stellenwert im Berggebiet haben, das ist aus ökologischer Sicht unbestritten. Aber auch hier weist mehr Vielfalt den Weg in die Zukunft. 

Rheintaler Ribelmais (AOP)

Die Renaissance des «Türkisch Korn»

Das «Türkisch Korn», wie der Ribelmais im Rheintal auch genannt wurde, erlebt eine wahre Wiederaufer-stehung. Man nimmt an, dass die Rheintaler das Getreide im 17./18. Jahrhundert aus der Türkei importierten – daher der Ausdruck. 

In dieser Zeit war der Ribelmais das Grundnahrungsmittel im Rheintal. Die Anbauflächen erstreckten sich über mehrere Tausend Hektaren. Das warme und feuchte Klima begünstigte den Anbau der robusten Kulturpflanze, im Gegensatz zu anderen Getreidesorten wie beispielsweise Weizen. 

Die Globalisierung und der damit verbundene Import von günstigem Speisemais aus fernen Ländern brachten den Anbau des Korns im Rheintal fast zum Erliegen. Nur gerade noch vier Hektaren wurden in den 90er-Jahren bewirtschaftet. 

1998 wurde der «Verein Rheintaler Ribelmais» als Interprofession gegründet. Damit verpflichteten sich alle Akteure entlang der Wertschöpfungskette zu einer intensiven Zusammenarbeit – mit dem Ziel, vom Anbau über die Bewirtschaftung bis zur Verarbeitung ein qualitativ hochwertiges Nahrungsmittel zu erzeugen. Der «Rheintaler Ribelmais AOP» wurde im Jahr 2000 als zweites Produkt in das nationale Register der geschützten Ursprungsbezeichnungen der Schweiz aufgenommen. 

Mittlerweile werden von etwa 40 Produzenten rund 90 Hektaren bewirtschaftet. Mit der Renaissance dieser Kulturpflanze leben nun auch die alten Bräuche wie das «Hülsche» wieder auf. Dabei treffen sich die Leute in den Dörfern zur gemeinsamen Ernte und Aufbereitung der Kolben, dem «Hülschen». «Hülsche» ist der schweizerdeutsche Begriff für das Entfernen der Hülle. 

Bei unseren Gästen kommt das grobkörnige Getreide sehr gut an. Zu Lamm beispielsweise ist der Ribelmais ein traumhafter Begleiter.


Vineyards with a view of Lake Neuchâtel

«Domaine Bouvet-Jabloir» in Auvernier is admittedly not very regional. But the Pinot provides an elegant connection between the Bündner Herrschaft (Maienfeld district) and Romandy with its abundant crop land. And whoever gets to experience the wines of brothers Alexandre and Dimitri Colomb, won’t care any more about where they came from. And whoever says that Swiss wine is pricey, should compare the Pinots and Chardonnays from Bouvet-Jabloir with the great burgundies – talk about a deal!

We were introduced to the wines from Auvernier through their Signature Chardonnay paired with sushi and raw cisco from Lake Neuchâtel – a truly delightful combination. At this point it became very quiet at our table in the small sushi bar located in the middle of the Old Town in Neuchâtel. There are simply no words for such a magnificent food and wine pairing. The visit to the tasting cellar in Auvernier with Dimitri Colomb, a graduate of the École hôtelière de Lausanne and a sommelier, further heightened the experience. The short visit turned into an extended tasting, which ended with the «chauffeur», who was unfit to drive, being replaced. 

But what good is it to blather on about the wines from Dimitri and Alexandre? You must try them yourself! That’s why they are on our menu.

Our secret tip: The Chasselas «Legend» pairs perfectly with the Maran Alpine cheese fondue. The Chasselas shows just how elegant even the seemingly simplest wines can be. The interplay between the salty, floral aromas produced by the chalky soil in Jura is an exciting expression of the terroir, which only the best winemakers manage to capture in the glass.

Did you know?

A Bouvet-Jabloir is a plane specially designed for the artisanal production of oak barrels.


«Don George» – coffee from Graubünden

It was quite an experience when we started looking for a new coffee roaster a few years ago. Our team signed up for about ten coffee tastings with just as many producers at a trade fair in the food services industry. Fortunately, we found what we were looking for. And at the end of the day, we all had sweaty, shaky hands from excessive caffeine consumption. 

Georg Steiner, who learned the coffee business from scratch and is also based in the canton of Graubünden, had us sold from the first second. His «Don George» coffee is carefully roasted. However, processing beans from different exotic countries of origin can only succeed if the natural raw ingredients are of the highest quality. In this regard, caffè Don George has always been very selective and can make perfect use of international relations. Besides producing and selling high-quality coffee, caffè Don George even goes a step further by ensuring that our coffee machines are optimally configured directly on site. A local company that still puts its heart and soul into its work and is aware of how important the end consumers are.



Four ingredients – beer is just that simple.

About four years ago, we decided to switch from an international brewery to an independent family business in St. Gallen. And to this day we do not regret our decision to switch to Schützengarten brewery. Located in Eastern Switzerland, the brewery meets high standards of quality and often captures the zeitgeist with their conscious rejection of fast brewing methods, use of the latest technology and courage to pursue new beer trends. It’s not for nothing that they regularly win international competitions. 

Schützengarten was awarded with a Slow Brewing Quality Seal in 2014 for their consistent efforts, and is the first and currently only brewery in Switzerland to receive such a distinction. The Slow Brewing Institute only awards the seal to companies that brew slowly and gently using the purest natural raw ingredients. In addition, awarded companies must operate in a fair and conscious manner across the entire value chain. Slowing Brewing is regarded as the strictest seal of quality in the fiercely competitive beer market. 

For us, Schützengarten brewery is the typical Swiss expression of tradition paired with innovation. It also fits perfectly into our concept of «local heroes». For years it has brewed our «Hof Maran Huusbier», a delightfully smooth beer fresh from the cellar which is unfiltered and features a slightly sweet malt aroma. Our beer connoisseurs often mention notes of honey as well.


Willkommen im Jumiversum!

In der Familien-Käserei machen wir verschiedene Käse aus Rohmilch und auf den hügeligen Wiesen züchten wir das Omoso-Jungrind.

Jeden Morgen und jeden Abend bringen die Bauern von den umliegenden Höfen die Milch ihrer Kühe in die Käserei. Diese Milch verarbeiten wir frisch weiter zu Rohmilchkäsen. Von hart bis weich, von blau über rot bis weiss und von schüch bis wild, hat es für jeden etwas mit dabei.

mit einer Hand voll Bauern züchten wir unsere Jungrinder. Unsere Tiere leben alle draussen, erhalten hofeigenes Schweizer Futter und wachsen in Muttertierhaltung auf. Keinen Platz finden bei uns Antibiotika und Hormone.


The char – a diva

The Reichmuth family has been farming trout, salmon trout and char in Sattel in the canton of Schwyz for two generations since 1984. The high demand for local fish has allowed the Reichmuths to expand their business continuously.

If the char is moved from tank to tank too often during breeding, it goes on a hunger strike. This does not affect the quality of the meat, and char are naturally used to starvation, but growth stagnates during this period. That tends to be a disadvantage for a breeding farm. Unlike salmon and trout, the char must be nurtured and cared for meticulously.

For us, the char from the Reichmuths, farmed in fresh mountain spring water, raised with 95% vegetarian raw materials, are of very high quality. As the fish stocks in Swiss lakes continue to dwindle, there is also a strong case to be made for local farming.


A little sweet treat

Everyone knows the smell when the chestnut vendors set up their stalls in the streets in autumn and winter. Sweet chestnuts and «marroni» are simply part of the winter season. But what actually makes the difference? While the larger «marroni» usually have one fruit, the sweet chestnuts are somewhat smaller and usually have two to three fruits hidden under their husk covered with soft spines.

Our partners from the «Bio-Garten Schanfigg» harvest the sweet chestnuts by hand in the chestnut forests in Val Bregaglia. The sweetish, mealy fruits are then smoke-dried for four to five weeks in a complex procedure. The loss of liquid and the smoking process preserve the chestnuts, which can be stored in a dry place for two years without any problems.

In cooking, the sweet chestnuts can be used in many different ways, and the flour obtained from them is used in gnocchi, bread, pasta, etc., for example. Vegans should definitely check out the carbohydrate-rich sweet chestnut.

We mainly process the dried chestnuts in our kitchen to make a creamy soup with wonderful sweetness and pleasant smoky notes. A hearty and traditional dish.


As unusual and intriguing as the winemaker himself

Anyone who talks to winemaker Silas Hörler quickly realises that he knows what he wants and is not shy about communicating it. Originally a trained chef, he has already experienced a great deal at the age of 32. He is usually busy working on several different projects at the same time.

He finished his winemaking apprenticeship at the top of his class, went on a journey to Australia, or more precisely to Tasmania, and shortly after his return to Switzerland was able to take over the position of cellar master at Davaz in the Bündner Herrschaft (Maienfeld district). A challenging task, as the winery produces a variety of wines – also for other well-known wine brands (such as von Salis). Along the way, Silas Hörler has built up a brand under his own name. He cultivates various plots of land, has his own farm producing meat (Wagyu and Angus cattle) and also runs the largest Graubünden vineyard, Schloss Salenegg.

Silas Hörler’s wines are as idiosyncratic as he is and have long since gained a large following. How about an example? He puts the Pinot noir grapes from the «Kalkofen vineyard», with slate-rich soils and low yields, into the fermentation vats as whole grapes with stem. After about two-thirds of the fermentation time, Martina, Silas’ wife, steps barefoot into the vats, stomping and thus gently crushing the grapes in the traditional way. He stirs the grape material regularly using the classic «bâtonnage» method. After gentle pressing, the juice is bottled in French barriques where it undergoes a second fermentation. This approach renders the wines very uncharacteristic of «Herrschäftler wines», wines from the Maienfeld district. Unlike the «Herrschäftler wines» with their rather red berry characteristics, the «Kalkofen wines» are characterised by black berry notes with aromas of cinnamon, pepper and cloves. As unusual and intriguing as the producer.

Silas und Martina Hörler, Fläsch, +41 (0)78 739 91 03



«All fields and meadows, all mountains and hills, this is your pharmacy.»


If you are as knowledgeable as our chef Cyrill Pflugi, you will find exciting plants and mushrooms everywhere that you can use for cooking. He regularly forages in the surrounding forests and alpine meadows in summer and autumn. What he finds is preserved, dried, fermented or cooked directly. Unfortunately, this old craft of preservation is gradually going out of fashion. People often forget that not only can the storage period be extended, but the nutrients and colour are also retained if processed gently. Cep mushrooms, for example, are dried carefully and thus retain their white colour, in contrast to commercially available mushrooms, which turn completely brown. Anyone who spends time outdoors regularly and has a good eye for the often hidden delicacies will also know where to find what and where the best places are.

Things you can find in the mountains here: yarrow, alpine chives, mountain thyme, cep mushrooms, chanterelles, funnel chanterelles, wild strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, sea buckthorn, etc.


Atlantic salmon from the Grisons mountains

If you travel to Ticino through Mesocco, via the San Bernardino, you will definitely pass by the large, modern wooden building of «Swiss Lachs». In an indoor recirculation system, Swiss Alpine Fish AG farms salmon in fresh mountain water – free of chemicals, antibiotics and microplastics. The modern farming facility allows for resource-saving water consumption. Only 2% fresh water is fed into the circuit. A biogas system is operated with the filter residues obtained from production. The result is fresh, healthy salmon that does not harm the environment or ecosystems.


A clean solution

In the beginning, there was the idea and the desire to make the world a little cleaner – and not just symbolically. A soap as natural as the beautiful surroundings of Arosa, free of any additives or other unnecessary ballast. The soapmaker Beat Urech – at home in Arosa, at home in the world – understands the miraculous process of soapmaking, because as a trained druggist he learned about glycerine, lyes and essential oils a long time ago. This has resulted in genuine Arosa natural soaps – for the body, hands, hair and soul.

As a sustainability-minded family man, yoga teacher and nature lover, Beat had long felt concerned about the shower gels, shampoos and liquid soaps available in supermarkets – products pumped full of chemical additives and fragrances. Was there a clean solution for cleaning? His research finally led him to the late Friedrich Weiss, an old-fashioned soapmaker living in Vienna at the time. His Stadtlauer Seifensiederei was an insider tip among soap connoisseurs throughout Europe. It wasn’t long before Beat, infected by soap
fever, mixed his first bucket of original Arosa soap.


Winnetou and Sem watch over the herd

Sina Caflisch and Roman Nicolay run a large organic sheep farm with around 100 ewes in Maladers. Together, they have established a direct distribution network for lamb meat, and they personally supply the Chur and Schanfigg regions. But a sheep farm does not only produce lamb, it also has older sheep that have to be slaughtered. The meat of these animals is used to make salsiz sausages, cured meats, boiled and fried sausages, and minced meat. Sina processes the sheep’s wool into felt and uses it to make hand-crafted products.

When Sina and Roman aren’t in the pasture, their two llamas Winnetou and Sem keep an eye out for any large predators. The proximity of the village and a hiking trail leading through the pastures do not permit the use of guard dogs. The advantage of llamas is that they don’t have to be fed separately; just like the sheep, they consume grass, water and mineral salt.


A small region with big wines.

Viticulture in the rhine valley of graubünden was first documented in the will of tello, bishop of chur (765 ad). It is assumed that white wine (elbling, weisser veltliner, completer) was the main type initially grown. A turning point occurred around 1630, when in the course of the french military campaigns during the turmoil in graubünden, the pinot noir grape found its way to us and seemed quickly to become the primary variety.

Von Salis WINES


Andrea Davaz and two of her friends founded von Salis AG in 1994. The company has grown steadily in recent years and now obtains grapes from 60 winegrowers, with over 50 hectares of cultivated land. This makes von Salis the largest wine producer in Graubünden.

A good wine results from the interplay of climate, soil and the optimal selection of grape varieties – adapted to the natural conditions. But for von Salis, terroir is not the only thing that matters. The people who tend the vineyards are also important. They are the ones who can understand and appreciate the terroir, get the most out of the natural conditions, and thus create a product full of pleasure.

Our tip: The «Malanser Pinot Blanc» (which we serve by the glass) is distinguished by its fine mineral taste, freshness and citrus notes. It’s a wonderful wine that puts you in the mood for a second glass.


Vineyard in the Tschalär

The winegrower Philipp Grendelmeier is something of a jack-of-all-trades, but he has very clear ideas. He became known primarily for his exotic fruit juices and jams. He grows gooseberries, rhubarb, elderberries, quinces, plums, peaches and strawberries. The macroclimate in Zizers in the Chur Rhine Valley even provides ideal ripening conditions for kiwis and mandarins.

Grendelmeier consistently follows ecological principles in his vineyard. He uses only organic fertilisers, where necessary, and completely avoids the use of herbicides. His approach to packaging his products is also rather unusual. Wherever possible, he chooses to use recyclable packaging and containers. He doesn’t just pay lip service to the responsible treatment of nature; for him, it is self-evident.

Our tip: «Dus Alvs» is a white wine made from Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris grapes. Year after year, Grendelmeier manages to bring out the aromatic notes typical of these varieties.


Organic? – Of course!

Like many Graubünden winegrowers, Irene Grünenfelder is committed to organic winegrowing and thus creates wines with a strong emphasis on terroir at her Eichholz estate in Jenins. Wine just the way we want it – not an international hodgepodge. As a winemaker, she doesn’t come from a long tradition, but has created her own winery on her parents-in-law’s land with tenacity and a passion for wine. She is now aided by her son and successor, Johannes, while her daughter assists in an advisory capacity.

Our tip: At a blind tasting in Maran, the Pinot Noir «Eichholz» stood up to other, better known Pinots without any problems. The barrel-aged «Eichholz» wine is a smooth and powerful Pinot Noir for special occasions.


For love of the region

Hanspeter and Rahel Margreth have deep roots in the Schanfigg. They run an organic dairy farm in Langwies together with their three children. Around two thirds of their mountain pastures are situated between 1,900 and 2,200 metres above sea level – precisely where the tastiest herbs grow.

The Margreths store around 850 kilogrammes of cheese annually in an old Walser house in the Fondei. In winter, Hanspeter collects the cheese from the mountain in a bicycle trailer on touring skis, taking up to twelve wheels at a time. This somehow calls to mind an adventure from the Swiss classic «A Bell for Ursli».

Every year in August, Rahel and Hanspeter go to the «Bördter» high plateau above Langwies to make hay. The small hay bales, produced with a great deal of effort, are lowered from the high-cultivation area via an 850-metre rope. Anyone who tries the resulting alpine herbal tea or mountain hay syrup knows why the two young farmers go to so much trouble.

By the way: You can find the organic salsiz sausage made by Rahel and Hanspeter Margreth on our menu card.


Leaving space for nature, in the vineyard and the cellar

In 1951, Ernst Lampert, father of the current winegrower Hanspeter Lampert, took over a mixed agricultural business from his own father. Over a period of 30 years, the Lamperts completely converted to viticulture and continued to expand their acreage and vineyard. The stony and limy soils of the estate are ideal for growing Burgundy varieties. The stone walls surrounding the vineyards help even heat-loving varieties like Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen.

Our tip: Lampert’s Pinot Noir «Jubiläum» is grown in deep limestone soil in the oldest vineyards, which means that the yields are low. This makes the wine all the more appealing. It is characterised by eloquent complexity, with an intense taste and an unusually dark colour for a Pinot Noir.


Hanspeter Lampert


Leaving space for nature in the vineyard and the cellar. What does this mean to you?

For us, leaving space for nature in the vineyard means consistent, species-rich greening on a sustainable basis, the avoidance of herbicides and insecticides, the breakup of monoculture by means of hedges, wild shrubs and trees, and support for bird populations. In the cellar, it means that we don’t use fining measures. We give our wines the time they need to mature and we prefer to ferment with natural grape yeasts instead of pure yeast cultures, as far as possible. Less is more.

What do you think makes a good Pinot Noir? What is important for the cultivation and vinification of the Pinot Noir grape?

Good Pinot Noir vines are playful, elegant and highly complex plants with a delicate fruit. The grape is highly sensitive to errors in the vineyard and the cellar. Pinot Noir needs vineyards that are warm but not too warm, light and limy soils, and cool nights during ripening. This makes Graubünden an ideal region for Pinot Noir. For high-quality wines, the yield must be significantly reduced most years. The time of ripening is key for Pinot Noir: it shouldn’t happen too early and certainly not too late, otherwise the flavour loses its elegance and the delicate wines acquire too much alcoholic content.

You also grow international varieties such as Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Why is that?

Maienfeld has very stony soil. Each time the earth is worked, some of these chunks are brought to the surface. Over the centuries, these stones have been used to wall in the vineyards. It is too warm for Pinot Noir along the walls and slopes, which is why Syrah and Cabernet were planted there. These varieties thrive splendidly. We harvest Merlot from a very small plot that is too warm for Burgundy varieties.

If you were to rebuild your winery from scratch, is there anything you would do differently?

We would design a larger cellar right from the start. Our current cellar has been at full capacity for a long time, with barrels stored all over the place. As a matter of principle, all our red wines are kept in wood barrels for at least one year. This requires a huge amount of space.


Organic eggs from Arosa for breakfast

The best days start with a great breakfast. And good eggs are simply a staple of a good breakfast. HansAndrea Patt from Castiel – one of the last villages of the municipality of Arosa – supplies us with wonderful organic eggs on a weekly basis. Some large, some small, some light, some dark and all delicious. Our laying hens thank us for their stress-free, freerange lifestyle free from chemical-synthetic additives with top-quality healthy eggs.


Cheese from our neighbours

Sometimes you can smell a delicate waft of cheese here at Hof Maran if the wind’s blowing the right direction.

Our supply route couldn’t be shorter! We collect Alpine cheese, soft cheese, cream cheese, yoghurt and gloriously creamy Alpine butter ourselves using a trolley – all 100% CO 2 -neutral.

The Alpine dairy belongs to the civil community of Chur and buys milk, sometimes via a “pipeline”, from the four cattle Alps Maran, Prätsch, Sattel and Carmenna.

Hundreds of herb varieties, luscious meadow pastures, wonderful air and crystal-clear water make the milk, cheese and butter so deliciously tasty and healthy. Alpine cheese is only produced in summer – when the cows on the Alp are on holiday.


For the love of animals

You can’t miss the Sprechers’ farm on arrival in Arosa by car. One flying visit is all it takes to see that this Alpine farming couple’s priority is their close connection to the animals. Natural livestock breeding and stress-free slaughter on-site are important to them. Thanks to local processing and direct distribution, the Sprechers can connect to their customers on a personal level and have peace of mind that they are delivering meat of outstanding quality. In the winter months, they use time-honoured traditional methods to produce raw sausages and dried meat specialities. Their ancestral vocations, her a chef and he a butcher, suit them very well in this respect.

Bio Natura Beef comes from 10-month-old calves that graze on the Alpine meadows in summer before being fed with only milk and hay in an open group pen in winter – no growth-enhancing additives. The calves stay with their mother until slaughter.



You don’t need to go to burgundy to find a great pinot noir. The winegrowers of graubünden have upgraded and made quality the number one priority at their small vineyards. Reduced yields, manual vine and soil maintenance, eco-friendly vineyard cultivation, modern vinification in cellars and growing typical regional grape varieties are a matter of course for many winegrowers in graubünden.


Character wines

Annatina Pelizzatti has had a strong connection to winegrowing ever since she was a child and now runs a vineyard spanning four hectares. Her unconventional wines are very distinctive and anything but mainstream. Her red wines captivate with their elegance and spiciness. Her white wines are fresh with a pleasant but pronounced acidity. Our secret tip: Annatina Pelizzatti has been working on a small wooden cask blend of Pinot noir, Syrah and Merlot for a few years. The Sorso is a complex wine with a unique spiciness and notes of dark fruits.


Third generation

The vineyard and quality fruit business Gut Plandaditsch has been in the Lauber family since 1928. Grandfather Ernst Lauber, an industrious fruit grower and winemaker, was one of the first to specialise in the white wines Pinot gris and Freisamer. Nowadays, the Laubers grow a range of different grape varieties across four hectares and press six white wines and three red wines. Our secret tip: the Lauber Pinot gris is one of the best Pinot gris in the region – and has been for a long time. The Laubers always succeed in giving their wine an abundance of substance and body and a wonderful balance of sweetness and acidity. Our unconventionally elegant choice when it comes to Pinot gris.


In harmony with nature

Anyone who knows Markus Stäger can tell you he’s a man of few words. He prefers to let his wines speak for themselves and that they most certainly do. Markus Stäger and his family work their vineyards in harmony with nature. They produce wines typical of the location taking into consideration terroir conditions like soil, climate and weather. And all by hand – in the vineyard and in the cellar. Our secret tip: S88, produced by Markus Stäger, is an exciting sweet wine with fruity, floral notes and a wonderful acidity. Incidentally, S88 refers to the code of the grape variety Scheurebe, a hybrid produced in 1916 by the crossing of Riesling and Bukettraube (Bouquet Blanc).



Because they couldn’t make a living from growing standard commercial potato varieties in a mountainous area, in 2003, Marcel and Sabina Heinrich Tschalèr started to grow ProSpecieRara potatoes on a plot 1’000 metres above sea level. Then, in 2005, after their first significant crop yield, they launched a huge pota – to farming festival, the Patati-Hoffest. In the valley by chance, former top chef Freddy Christandl got wind of their idea. He went, ate – and drove back home with a few bags of these crazy potatoes. He was really excited, and the guests who came to the restaurant where he cooked with the mountain potatoes were delighted.

Soon the potato crop yields at the farm Las Sorts were greater than the demand from customers in the region. Marcel Heinrich started looking for ways to get this unique product onto the plates of interested chefs and potato-lovers throughout Switzerland.

When Freddy Christandl found out about Bergkartoffeln (mountain potatoes), he knew that this delicacy was too special to be sold as a mass market potato. He had just started his own business, combining his passion for cooking with an apprenticeship as an experience consultant. On a whim, he decided to take a portion of the Heinrichs’ harvest off their hands. Initially, the spuds were transported from the farm Las Sorts to Freddy‘s garage in Schindellegi by cattle truck and from there to the customer using his car.

The farmers and chef decided to continue working together after that. Together, they gradually got the project Bergkartoffeln aus dem Albulatal (“Mountain potatoes from the Albula valley”) on its feet. Thanks to his contacts from the restaurant scene, Freddy quickly found buyers throughout Switzerland – not least because he wanted to impress sophisticated high-end chefs with his culinary knowledge.

“Mountain potatoes from the Albula valley” is now an innovative project, worlds away from the mainstream and engineered processes. Marcel and Sabina Heinrich Tschalèr can now concentrate fully on the growing process while Freddy Christandl ensures that the spuds reach plates across Switzerland – using a fair and sustainable approach. After all – even in Switzerland – fair prices for farmers form an important basis for outstanding products and innovation.

To preserve the old varieties and knowledge of mountain arable farming for future generations, the duo have partnered up with Patrick Honauer and some top chefs and experts to found the Kartoffelakademie (potato academy) and have set up a support fund for it, which is now accepting voluntary donations.

Almost every variety has its own character, its own taste and often its own texture too.

Marcel and Sabina Heinrich Tschalèr, Freddy Christandl (from left to right)
Photo: Tina Sturzenegger


Former chef Freddy Christandl has made a name for himself in Switzerland as an experience consultant using his specialist expertise and (life) experience. He discovered Marcel and Sabina Heinrich Tschalèr’s mountain potatoes in the Albula valley in 2005. These particularly aromatic varieties are never far from his mind – and he also now dedicates his time to the Kartoffelakademie. The academy was conceived as an opportunity for producers, chefs and consumers to share specialist expertise.

The academy has three primary focuses:

The preservation of varieties: “Connoisseurs, agron – omists and chefs don’t always have the same interests when it comes to this,” explains Christandl.

Manual skills are also key: growing ancient varieties organically in mountainous regions requires an un – believable amount of know-how.

Cooking techniques: the third aspect is teaching cooking techniques, because mountain potatoes have a different cell structure, and cooking properties and the saturation value are different as a result.