Roter Hahn Farm Stays,Food, and Wine, in South Tyrol, Italy

By - May 13, 2014 (Updated: December 1, 2015)

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series South Tyrol.

Roter Hahn Farm Stays in South Tyrol, ItalyIf eating mouthwatering local products, tasting sun-soaked wines, and exploring some of Europe’s most beautiful mountain scenery sounds ideal, South Tyrol, in Northern Italy, may be just the place for you and Roter Hahn is the company to experience it with.

Last weekend, Andrew and I returned from a part of Europe we hadn’t even heard of a year ago. In fact, we both had to look up South Tyrol on the map. It is now firmly on our ‘top places we’ve ever visited’ list. The valleys packed with apple orchards, vineyards, and some of the most adorable towns we’ve ever seen, contrasted with the jagged snow-capped mountains. At times, it felt like we were on a film set.

Just imagine waking up to this view!

Just imagine waking up to this view!

What made it all the more special was connecting with passionate local people who are producing some of the best food and wine we’ve ever tasted (and you know we’ve tasted a lot of food and wine!)

They’ve opened their homes, farms, and restaurants to the wider public through a company called Roter Hahn (Red Rooster in English) and this company was the reason for our visit to South Tyrol.

The Roter Hahn or Red Rooster symbol means quality in South Tyrol farm stays

The Roter Hahn or Red Rooster symbol means quality in South Tyrol farm stays

Andrew had a chance meeting with one of Roter Hahn’s representatives, at an event last year. When we researched the company together later, we couldn’t believe how well it fit with CheeseWeb’s mission – to explore undiscovered corners of the world, meet passionate locals, and eat the very best local produce. When Roter Hahn invited us to stay in two of their properties, we jumped at the chance to share them with you.

In short, Roter Hahn connects travelers with local farms who rent apartments. But it’s not what you’re thinking. These are not rustic rooms above the cowshed. Here’s a small taste of the two beautiful properties we stayed in. (Details of each coming in future posts.)

The gorgeous Wolfganghof in the heart of wine country.

The gorgeous Wolfganghof in the heart of wine country.

Tiefentalhof was spectacular inside and out.

Tiefentalhof was spectacular inside and out.

Roter Hahn sets tough standards farms need to attain, before coming on board. But they also provide the farmers with the tools to get there. One of our hosts showed us a huge binder full of resources and talked excitedly about some of the training courses he had participated in. Roter Hahn offers everything from hospitality training to language courses to breakfast preparation techniques to their members.

What this means for the guest is a guaranteed level of quality. Each of the properties is rated out of 5 flowers, on the website, categorized by theme (organic, good for hiking, historic, family-friendly, wine tasting, even spa farms), and sorted by area, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for in a holiday home.

There are more than 1600 farmhouses in the Red Rooster family, so there is definitely something for everyone.

But apartment rentals aren’t the only thing in Red Rooster’s bag of tricks. Here’s where it gets really interesting. 1600 farms produce heaps of great ingredients and Roter Hahn provides two ways to get your hands on them.

First, there are the farm bars. These are small, local restaurants, featuring either meat or wine produced on the farm itself. The products used in the farm bar have to come from the South Tyrol region, whenever possible, and, like the apartments, must meet Roter Hahn’s quality standards.

The food consists of traditional, local dishes that are largely forgotten in the town and city restaurants. This food provides an even deeper connection to the people, culture, and land of the South Tyrol – and it’s incredibly delicious.

We’ll share more about the farm bars we visited in our upcoming articles, but here’s a sneak peek.

Dining at the organic Farm Bar Steffelehof

Dining at the organic Farm Bar Steffelehof

One of the things I love to do when I travel to a new region, is buy local products, so I can recreate some of the dishes I tried, once I get back home. I get to relive a little of my travels, and experiment in the kitchen at the same time. This brings me to the second way to taste test some of the farm’s produce -Roter Hahn certified quality products.

These products come from Red Rooster farms and are sold to the public, either directly from the farm or through shops like Pur Sudtirol. When I walked into this shop in Brunek, I might have been a wee bit excited…

Ok, so I look like a dork... but I'm a happy dork.

Ok, so I look like a dork… but I’m a happy dork.

The Pur Sudtirol shop in Bruneck - Heaven for foodies

The Pur Sudtirol shop in Bruneck – Heaven for foodies

Roter Hahn farms produce a dizzying array of incredible products: wine, cheese, meats, pasta, preserves, dried fruit, juices, tea and herbs, spices and sweets, to name a few. I was like a kid in a (somewhat healthier) candy shop. Our car was definitely heavier coming home…

A bit of my foodie stash from South Tyrol

A bit of my foodie stash from South Tyrol (this doesn’t include the boxes of wine and crates of apple juice…)

Roter Hahn has also recently launched an initiative to promote local handicrafts as well. Currently there are only a few farms involved, producing crafts from wood and wool. The Red Rooster folks hope they can help encourage an interest in reviving these traditional hobbies.

It’s not often we find a company we are so excited to tell our readers about. If you share our passion for local food, culture, and beautiful, undiscovered places, stay tuned for more details of our adventure in South Tyrol, coming soon.

Looking for more of our favourite hotels in Belgium and beyond? Visit our Hotel Reviews page to find out where we’ve been sleeping.

We couldn’t do what we do without the kind support of our sponsors. We’d like to extend our thanks to Roter Hahn for inviting us to stay in two of their properties and experience their farm bars, as well as to South Tyrol for helping support our travels in the region. As always, our opinions are entirely our own.

Read more from this series...

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Alison Cornford-Matheson
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison Cornford-Matheson
- 11 hours ago


  1. Comment by Adriana

    Alison Cornford-Matheson

    Adriana May 13, 2014 at 10:34

    Wonderful! I will book them one of these days!

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison Cornford-Matheson

      Alison May 13, 2014 at 11:25

      I think you guys would love it. The farms with animals are particularly fun for kids and I like how on the website you can break it down to exactly the type of stay you are looking for.

  2. Comment by JON

    Alison Cornford-Matheson

    JON May 13, 2014 at 17:14

    Really great information Alison! Yet another place you’ve put on my ‘Must Visit’ list.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison Cornford-Matheson

      Alison May 13, 2014 at 17:55

      Absolutely Jon! I think you would love it there.

  3. Comment by Amrita K

    Alison Cornford-Matheson

    Amrita K May 13, 2014 at 21:10

    This is wonderful! Staying at places like this often makes travel much “realer” I think! Thank you for sharing this. And the photo of you…well its pretty much how I looked at my very first open-air market in Finland 😀

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison Cornford-Matheson

      Alison May 13, 2014 at 22:03

      You’re right! This kind of travel feels much more authentic. (Even if I do end up looking like a giggling idiot in the food shops!) 🙂

  4. Comment by Ola

    Alison Cornford-Matheson

    Ola May 14, 2014 at 21:46

    Great post and great travel! As usual:)
    I just wonder if this post has been sponsored by Roter Hahn. I also wonder if so, would you indicate it in your post.
    I don’t mean to dig into your budget, but I follow few travel blogs and it’s important to me to know to what extent the bloggers have been “invited” to certain destinations. Helps me make decisions as to my future travels.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison Cornford-Matheson

      Alison May 16, 2014 at 09:57

      Hi Ola. Good question and I understand your concern. We always state at the end of our posts if something has been sponsored and we only accept sponsors we truly believe in. As stated in this post, Roter Hahn did provide our accommodations. It was not a ‘press trip’ with a set invitation. We pitched the idea to them ourselves. I wrote this particular article because I was so impressed by the company and their service. I was not asked to do it, nor was I paid for it to appear here. (If that was the case it would be clearly marked as such). Having sponsors like Roter Hahn allow us to keep bringing you great free content, but rest assured we will continue to do it with total honesty. If I didn’t like this company so much, this article wouldn’t be here.

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