Culinary and Wine Delight in the Principality of Liechtenstein Lilit Mkrtchyan
Prince Castle

The name of the country is composed of two German words - licht, meaning light and stein, meaning stone. The Princely family of Liechtenstein is one of the oldest noble families in Europe, with Reigning Prince Hans-Adam II.

Apart from safety and comfort, Liechtenstein possesses enticing mountainous nature, covered with endless green forests. This tiny Principality is an ultimate piece of serenity. Perhaps it is one of the tempting destinations on the planet or rather one separate planet in the European continent? When you enter Liechtenstein, it seems you arrive on another planet, completely different world devoid of worldly vanity. It’s a little piece of heaven for those who are in search for peaceful hideaway or escape from the world routine, with the capital Vaduz exuding a special type of tranquillity.

This year, I was fortunate to visit Liechtenstein for a media trip supported by Liechtenstein Marketing, which provided a stay in a cosy Hotel Giessen, situated a few minutes’ walk away from Vaduz city centre.

In line with breathtaking natural sceneries, this tiny country may offer you delightful wine and culinary experiences. Thanks to Liechtenstein Marketing, I had the chance to visit the Prince of Liechtenstein Winery and taste two types of dry white and red wines, both from the year 2015- Blanc Vaduzer Pinot Noir and Herawingert Vaduzer Pinot Noir. In parallel to wine degustation, the lady working in the winery told me an interesting story of the Princely Winery and its wines.

The Princely Winery produces a few types of Liechtenstein wines, one of which is a dessert wine Rosé Va Dolce and sells more types of Austrian wines, as the Princely Family originates from Austria and presently owns 42 hectares of vineyards in Austria, located in the Northern Weinviertel which is 50 km away from Vienna. The winery produces 2000 bottles of wines per year and does not export its Vaduzer wines to other countries.

To my question on why the Austrian wines presented in their winery are cheaper as compared to Liechtenstein wines, the lady simply answered: because Liechtenstein is more expensive than Austria. The winery offers you a chance to taste wines and purchase the ones that delighted you the most.

For those who prefer an organized group tour, there is a chance to take a “Vineyard-Tour” on a city train. The “Vineyard-Tour” lasts for 60 minutes and includes the degustation of Vaduzer wines in the Princely Winery and a small lecture on viniculture in the Princely Vineyards.

Besides the Prince of Liechtenstein Winery, throughout the beautiful landscapes of the Principality, you may encounter the Castellum Vineyard in Eschen, Harry Zech Vineyard CANTINA in Schaanwald and Hoop Vineyard in Eschen, whose slogan is “Wine should be a treat for all the senses”.

One special characteristic of the wines produced in Harry Zech is their mention of the Latin words on the labels, like natura (nature), amor (love), deus (God). In line with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Savignon, a sparkling wine- metamorphosis vino spumante is also produced here.

When it comes to the culinary delights, Liechtenstein provides both traditional meals, like Ribel and Käsknöpfle, as well as exceptional gourmet dishes. Due to its location in between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein’s cuisine is largely influenced by these two countries.

Käsknöpfle is a traditional dish similar to the pasta, made with melted cheese, flour, eggs, water and salt. Oftentimes, an apple sauce is added to make the dish more delicately-tasting. Another traditional dish is a Ribel- cornmeal-based delicacy, which is very simple to prepare; it contains only a few simple ingredients: cornmeal, milk, salt and butter or vegetable fat. Not surprisingly, this dish was formerly considered to be a poor population’s meal.  Both Ribel and Käsknöpfle, you may order them in almost any restaurant throughout Liechtenstein. However, as I found out during my stay in the Principality, these dishes are usually made in cold weather. Hence, you will hardly have the chance to taste them during summer.

Along with traditional and simple (yet nutritious) dishes, Liechtenstein may offer you fine-dining restaurants with unique specialities. Among the gourmet restaurants, you might not want to miss the elegant Kokon Restaurant located in Ruggell, which will serve you delicately-designed dishes with exceptional taste. A special characteristics of the Restaurant Kokon is its commitment to Awakening the Senses. Two other restaurants worth mentioning are Zentrum in Balzers (with 13 Gault Millau Points) and Restaurant Torkel (16 Gault Millau Points).

In the small mountainous village of Triesenberg, a selection of restaurants like Kulm, Edelweiss, Guflina and Kainer will serve you dishes that have been formerly traditional to this region, like Öpfelchüachli- apple-flavoured doughnuts.

Eventually, Liechtenstein is a small piece of land with fascinating nature, abundance of wine and culinary provisions, and simply a place to relax, revitalize and regenerate a peaceful state of mind. Whenever you pass by the neighbouring Austria or Switzerland, do not forget to knock on the door of the Principality of Liechtenstein and experience glorious princely moments.


Photo credits:

Liechtenschtein Marketing

Lilit Mkrtchyan