The old residential tower named “Alt-Firmian” first appeared in historical records in 1325. For many years it was owned by the Firmians, the canons of Trento, who also owned Firmian Castle (today known as Sigmundskron Castle). Shortly after that time, a farmstead was built here. At first it was known as Baumannhof, and it was then renamed Englarhof. How this complex of medieval buildings later became the Stroblhof farm is not known. Today, all that remains of the medieval residential tower by the natural lake is a ruin – its southern wall still perfectly preserved and enjoyed by bathers as a “historical windbreak”.
In 1872, Eppan – like the areas of Merano and Gries, near Bolzano – was officially designated a health resort. Just a decade later, Stroblhof went through its first upgrade, transforming from a simple farmstead into a country inn. Thanks to its position at an altitude of over 500 metres at the foot of a landslide, as well as its immediate vicinity to the Eislöcher (ice caves), Stroblhof soon attracted scores of guests. The well-preserved ice cellar, built with flat porphyry stones and now listed, was used as a natural refrigerator for the farm's own produce. Various records from 1880 onwards document the inn’s popularity as a venue, as well as the inauguration of the royal-imperial shooting range in 1896. As marksmanship declined in popularity after the two world wars, the shooting range lost its purpose, but Stroblhof continued to be a place for celebrations. Reports up until the 1960s document rural festivals organised by the local clubs, along with sporting and cultural events, bearing witness to the renowned hospitality of the Franz Ausserer family – Stroblhof owners since 1836.
In the 1960s, after a series of conversion and extension works, the original inn became the first hotel in the Überetsch area to feature an outdoor pool. But this was just the beginning: young heir Josef Hanni-Ausserer had plans. Stroblhof’s own wine production, which had already begun around the middle of the 19th century with the Strahler, was intensified and improved in quality. In 1972, Josef had an indoor swimming pool built, the first in the area, and this was soon followed by...
Soon Andreas Nicolussi-Leck realised that the soil here at the foot of the Mendel mountains held great potential for the cultivation of Burgundy grapes. He cleared the fruit orchards, bought vineyards in the best locations and built a modern wine cellar, which enabled him to continually improve the quality of the Stroblhof wines. The mineral, fruity white wines and the elegant, long-lived Pinot noirs have nothing to fear in comparison with other first-class wines.
Anna and Thomas Nicolussi-Leck have recently joined the team at the hotel and winery. Both areas of activity now present us with new challenges, especially in terms of sustainable and responsible growth. This will be an essential step in ensuring Stroblhof’s continued reputation as a historical, heritage-minded family business.