At Katzenzungen Castle near Prissiano in the Merano region, a single vine covers an area of 300 sqm.
The canopy of the Versoaln vine, an indigenous white grape variety, encompasses more than 300 sqm, making it the largest vine throughout Europe. In 2004, the internationally renowned dendrochronologist Prof. Martin Worbes from the University of Göttingen scientifically calculated the age of the vine and arrived at an estimate - at that time - of more than 350 years. Therefore, it is also known as the likely oldest vine in Europe - "likely" because the age of a vine is much harder to calculate than its size. The Gardens of Castel Trauttmansdorff took over the patronage of this unique vine, called "Versoaln-Rebe" in German and "Vite Versoaln" in Italian.
This natural monument is not only widely known, but is also celebrated every year during the Grape Blossom Festival, where the rare Versoaln wine is served: It is limited to a few hundred bottles and its grapes come exclusively from this vine. The green-tinted, fruity table wine serves above all as an ambassador for South Tyrol as a wine region. The name "Versoaln" probably comes from the old dialect word "verdolen", which means green.
By the way: In Magrè in the south of South Tyrol there is the so-called "Urrebe" (ancient vine). It has been proven that it was planted in 1601 and is therefore formally older. The vine grows up a wall of a house, but is significantly smaller than the Versoaln vine. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the Stara Trta in Maribor (Slovenia) with more than 400 years is the oldest grape-bearing vine in the world. And how to reach the Versoaln vine? Katzenzungen Castle, a popular venue, stands above the Prissiano Road. The Prissiano forest and castle tour, for example, passes by here (2.5 hours). There is also a car park at the castle.
Despite careful control we cannot guarantee the correctness of the provided data.
Guided tour every Tuesday between the end of June and early November 2021, as conclusion of the full day tour "Ultimo Valley - Lake Smeraldo - Versoaln", organised by the Tesimo-Prissiano Tourist Board, reservation needed (phone: +39 0473 920822).