The largest and likely oldest vine throughout Europe is celebrated every year at Katzenzungen Castle in Prissiano.
Image gallery: Grape Blossom Festival
Katzenzungen Castle rises majestically in Prissiano (Prissian) near Tesimo (Tisens) in Merano and surroundings. The castle complex was first mentioned in written documents in 1244 AD. Nowadays, however, a 32 metres long stony bridge leads into the interior of the restored property, which is the perfect setting for cultural events, historical banquets and weddings.
And right here, at about 600 m a.s.l., a real rarity can be found. 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 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 patronage of this unique vine more than 10 years ago.
To celebrate this special vine in the best way, in 2012 the Grape Blossom Festival was brought into life. It takes place every year in June right underneath the vine’s canopy and offers music, delicacies, a variety of wine - also the rarely poured Versoaln wine - as well as tastings and a guided tour through the castle. The event is organised by the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, in collaboration with the Tesimo-Prissiano Tourism Association and Katzenzungen Castle.