Europe & Britain | Destination Guides

Visiting the Hostettler Vivvneyard in Switzerland

Recently updated on July 19th, 2022 at 03:20 pm

In the small village of Monteggio, situated on the slopes overlooking Lake Maggiore, Massimo and Joelle Hostettler run a boutique vineyard to honour the Hostettler family winemaking tradition. Here, guests are welcomed in to experience life on the vineyard, step inside a traditional Swiss winery and have a taste of the region’s Italian-influenced produce.

The Insubria region – with a name that derives from the ancient Insubri civilization – is also known as the region of lakes, spanning the three Swiss-Italian pre-Alpine lakes, Como, Lugano and Maggiore. The Hostettler family vineyard, Azienda Vitivinicola, is tucked into the hillside above Lugano, with majestic views over Lake Maggiore and the Monte Rosa massif beyond, including Switzerland’s highest peak, Dufourspitze.

Vineyard in Switzerland

Encompassing Lombardia and Piemonte in Italy, as well as Swiss Canton Ticino, Insubria is a region that was ruled as The Duchy of Milan (A northern Italian state of the Holy Roman Empire) from 1395 to 1796. It was only in 1803 that the Italian-speaking region of Canton Ticino became a part of Switzerland.

The region’s Italian heritage is evident to the present day. “The language, culture, gastronomy and lifestyle all reflect this history,” Massimo explains, “Ticino is the southernmost region of Switzerland, with a Mediterranean climate and Latin affinities. But, we are proud to be a part of Switzerland.”

Vineyard in Switzerland

Massimo and his wife Joelle began to produce wine here after inheriting the vineyard. It was Massimo’s father who first took the vineyard on after moving here from Bern, having been attracted by the warm climate that’s so well suited to winemaking.

“With the help of his wife and seven children, my father built the winery in 1969,” says Massimo, “and it still retains the characteristics of that time as we continue the tradition today. Here, people can see the work of viticulture as it was in the 1970s.”

“Viticulture is an ancient work,” he continues, “In the last 200 years many things have changed, but our intention is to retain the family’s winemaking tradition.”

Vineyard in Switzerland

By travelling through the valley, guests find themselves amidst the region’s lush vineyards before arriving at Azienda Vitivinicola. Once there, each visitor is given an insight into traditional winemaking with a tour of the winery and cellars, before having a chance to sample the wine and tuck into the regional cuisine.

“On our vineyards Merlot is the most cultivated grape,” Massimo explains, “but in a smaller portion we cultivate Cabernet Sauvignon and Uva Fragola, which is named for its intense aroma of strawberry and raspberry; from this particular grape we produce Grappa.”

Vineyard in Switzerland

Lunch on the vineyard gives guests the chance to taste this wine, while tucking into typical regional dishes like Lüganega sausage and homemade risotto.

And it’s not just the guests who express gratitude for this experience. “I really appreciate working in this natural environment and meeting the people who come from across the world to visit us,” says Massimo. “Thanks to our guests, we continue on this journey.”

Meet the Hostettler family on the Best of Switzerland trip with Trafalgar.

Image credits: Cover photo of the view over Lake Lugano © iStock / piovesempre. Vineyards on the slopes above the lakes © iStock / fotoember. Lakeside living on Lugano © iStock / chaoss. Grapes thrive on these Swiss slopes © iStock / antares71. The vineyard is close to Lake Maggiore © iStock / Sandy Riverman.

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