In the world’s smallest wine-producing country, locals and visitors can sample the fruits of a royal vineyard.
Liechtenstein is the world’s sixth smallest country, but the 62-square-mile principality has nearly 100 winegrowers. Its mild climate, excellent soil quality, and the warm föhn wind make it an ideal place for growing wine grapes, particularly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, Liechtenstein is considered one of the best wine-growing regions in the Rhine Valley.
Part of the Hofkellerei des Fürsten von Liechtenstein (the Wine Cellar of the Prince of Liechtenstein), the prince’s lush vineyard covers four hectares (roughly 10 acres) outside of the capital, Vaduz. It’s open to the public, and it’s common to see Liechtensteiners strolling among the vines and testing the grapes themselves. Wine tastings—of four wines—are available Monday through Saturday. The tastings cost roughly $20, and include Liechtenstein’s famous Pinot Noir, known locally as Blauburgunder or “Blue Burgundy.” If you ask politely, the staff will show you the underground wine cellar, where much older barrels are kept.
Liechtenstein wine can be bought only in Liechtenstein, or in very special wine shops in Switzerland. So if you want to impress at your next party, buy an exclusive bottle, or have one shipped home in a special case. They also sell a small selection of wines from other famous wine regions, such as France, Italy, and California.