In the heart of South Tyrol

When hotelier Peter Mutschlechner tells the story of Hotel Langgenhof, he has enough material to talk non-stop for 24 hours. It’s an important story that gives meaning to this hotel in Bruneck in the Italian province of South Tyrol, where his father Robert once started out as a farmer, and where Peter and his wife Juliane are now realising their dreams.

Five hundred wines
Peter’s parents gradually transformed their farm into a restaurant, one of the first in the village. For 30 years, until 1999, his mother Greti cooked delicious traditional and regional dishes with heart and soul. Meanwhile, Peter’s father stocked the wine cellar, and with great success. Thirty years ago Robert Mutschlechner already had more than 100 different wines on the menu. Now Peter has taken over, there is a dizzying collection of 500 wines to choose from, each of them individually selected with care.

Love of wine
Peter gets his passion for wine from his father, he explains: ‘From when was I was 16, my father used to take me with him everywhere, to all the major wine fairs. He already had an amazing wine cellar. Later, when I was studying at the Kaiserhof Hotel School in Merano, every week my roommates and I would bring in a nice bottle from home, sometimes two. Our teachers were only too happy to have a glass with us and tell us all about these quality wines. More than 90 per cent of our list is focused on European wines, and of course the best Italian wines, with a nice selection from South Tyrol.’

Every brick and Swiss pine plank in the hotel has a connection with Peter’s family in one way or another. The contemporary part of the hotel, including the panorama spa and swimming pool, was designed by Peter’s sister Verena and cousin Martin, both architects. And just outside the town is the Mutschlechner family’s new farm, also designed by Verena. Here the borders are filled the with fragrant Alpine herbs, which Peter’s mother Greti uses to make excellent herbal tea. Father Robert supplies the flavourful organic fruit and vegetables for Langgenhof’s traditional and à la carte restaurants. Chef Andreas Aichner’s kitchen produces the region’s most delicious classics with natural Italian flair. Try the fantastic spaghetti carbonara and ask Peter for a tip from his exquisite wine collection.

Sunrise in the mountains
Peter likes to share his love of nature with his guests: ‘I go out with our guests every week. In winter we ski the Sella Ronda in the Dolomites. For my guests I’ve created the “Gourmet Sella Ronda”, a day trip from eight in the morning until just after four in the afternoon, during which we visit my favourite restaurants and mountain lodges for the best food. They’re all places that are hidden away and unspoilt by mass tourism. Then in the summer we go hiking. We start very early, heading off into the mountains at four in the morning in time to enjoy a spectacular sunrise. I bring my cafetière so we can have a nice cup of coffee with a brioche as the sun comes up.’

For musical atmosphere, hotel guests gather around a record player with accompanying LPs next to the traditional tiled stove. From Tom Waits to Queen and Miles Davis, the collection reveals Peter’s broad tastes. ‘I once got an LP for my birthday. I was a bit surprised because I didn’t actually own a record player. The person who gave it to me said I should just do with it whatever felt right to me – so I bought a record player. My collection has grown rapidly to over 400 records, partly thanks to my brother-in-law who deals in LPs. The music turns the stube into a place where people come together, and that’s just how I imagined it.’

Hotel Langgenhof