At the Vitalpina Naturhotel Rainer in Ratschings, almost everything served at table comes from the immediate surroundings. Host Hannes Rainer needs only a few external suppliers, as most of what he uses in his hotel kitchen is supplied by family members or by fellow small farmers.
Knowing who produces what
“We have our own chickens, we grow our own grain and herbs and we produce our own meat. We source fruit and vegetables, cheese and honey from family members and from farmers in the immediate vicinity,” says Hannes Rainer: “It is vital for me to know where my food comes from, how it is grown and, above all, who produces it. I know my suppliers personally and we all trust one another.”
The “Ontrattalm”, located at an altitude of 1,642 metres above sea level in the Jaufental Valley, is where the contented cows of the Rainer family graze in summer. They are the responsibility of the father of Hannes, senior host Hans, who has a special connection to his animals: “We are careful to use every bit of our animals, not just the finer parts – so that ultimately nothing is left. This is how we show our respect and appreciation for them.”
Goodness close at hand!
The Vitalpina Alpenwellness Hotel St. Veit lies 111 kilometres east of the Vitalpina Naturhotel Rainer, in Sexten to be precise. The hotel has its own farm where the hosts, the Karadar family, produce their own meat and grow their own vegetables, fruit, ancient grains and barley: not only a treat for guests at the Hotel St. Veit, who enjoy fresh produce straight from the farm to their plates, but also for the wild animals living around the farm.
Deer in the garden?
“It happens from time to time that we see a deer helping itself in our vegetable garden, while the birds like snacking on our old grains – if they like it, we can’t be doing everything wrong”, says host Markus with a grin. His father, senior host Peter Karadar, is not only a gardener but also a keen beekeeper. Not only the bees but also the cattle on the farm benefit from ethical farming techniques.
The Karadar family is delighted to invite their local cheese producers to the hotel for tastings with guests: “There is a story behind every product, and these are mostly stories of hard-working people whose products are the result of plenty of passion and craft! We want to make our guests more aware of these stories”, says host Markus.
The Naturhotel Rainer and the Alpenwellness Hotel St. Veit are just two of the many Vitalpina hotels whose aim is to focus on sustainable coexistence while encouraging their guests to think about their own lives: come and see for yourself!