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Südtirol / Alto Adige, Italy

Although viticulture in the Val Venosta dates back at least 500 years, Heiner and Sabrina Pohl call their winery in Kastelbell “an agricultural start-up enterprise” as both changed careers to build Marinushof from the ground up.

Both trained in economics, Heiner and Sabrina left the corporate business world in their later thirties to begin their winery and mixed farm in Heiner’s hometown of Kastelbell, on the sunny slopes above the 12th century castle of the same name. Founded in 2005, Marinushof produces award winning wines, fruit, and a line of spirits, in addition to offering guests a pampering stay in one of two modern holiday apartments.

The Val Venosta, or Vinschgau in the more common local German, is an unusual valley in this part of the Alps with its unique east-west orientation. As a result, the vineyards are placed on steep, terraced slopes on the sunny side of the valley, benefitting from long, hot days and cool nights at their 650-meter height. This temperature differential, a prehistoric slate soil, and the care and attention given to the hand-tended vineyards, create elegant and exciting examples of Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc.

A stay at Marinushof should also take advantage of nearby Ortler Stelvio Natural Park, a famous destination for both hiking and skiing, or visits to one of the numerous Romanesque castles of the valley, including not only the local Kastelbell Castle but also neighboring Juval Castle, owned by world-famous Alpinist and Südtirol local Reinhold Messner.

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