Travel Guide to Thurgau Wine Region

The Thurgau winemaking region of Switzerland is located, hidden away, in the far northeastern corner of the country. The region is bordered by Zurich to the west and by Lake Constance to the east. The proximity to Germany means that there is a strong Germanic influence on the winemaking practices of Thurgau in the processes used and in the grape varietals included in the wines. The most commonly grown varietal in the region is Pinot Noir. The vines of Thurgau are planted along the picturesque hillsides and valleys of the region, making it one of the most naturally beautiful wine regions in Europe and the perfect wine tourism destination.


Find out about Wine Tasting & Tours in Thurgau to enjoy if you visit the region.

Follow our travel guide to Thurgau wine region to discover more about:

Wines of Thurgau

Cultural and natural sites to discover in Thurgau

Local gastronomy

The Thurgau Wine Region of Switzerland   

Thurgau is a winemaking region of Switzerland that is perfectly tucked away in the far east of the country. To the west, the region is bordered by Zurich and to its east, it is bordered by Lake Constance which is also known as Bodensee in German. The proximity of Thurgau to Germany means that there is a strong Germanic influence on the region in terms of the winemaking processes used and the types of grape varietals grown there.

The vineyards of the Thurgau region are mostly planted along the shores of the beautiful Lake Constance. This location allows them to benefit from the moderate temperatures created by the nearby body of water. Along with this, the lake reflects plenty of light from its surface. In the Thurgau wine region, there is a wide range of different soil types including sandy clay with calcareous veins and deep moraines.

The total surface area of the Thurgau wine region is 267 ha of which 66% is planted with red grape varietals and the remaining 34% with white.

Winemaking Sub-regions of Thurgau

Within the canton of Thurgau, there are 6 wine growing regions. There are Seebachtal, Unteres Thurtal, Untersee, Rheingebiet, Lauchetal, and Oberes Thurtal. The most northern sub region is Untersee which faces directly onto Lake Constance and the high reaches of the Rhine. Most of the remaining sub regions are located within the valley of the Thur River which is a tributary of the Rhine. The Thur River is the river from which the region gets its name.

Grape Varieties:

Across Thurgau, the most commonly grown grape varietal is Pinot Noir, other popular varietals are Gamay x Reichensteiner crossings, Gamaret, Garanir, Dunkelfelder, Dornfelder and Diolinoir.

Red: Pinot Noir, Acolon, Regent, Garanoir, Cabernet Jura

White: Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Solaris, Chardonnay

Swiss Wines with a Germanic Influence

The wines of the Thurgau wine region form part of the AOC Thurgau. The white wines produced in Thurgau are extremely aromatic. Of the red wines produced in Thurgau, the majority are Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is by far the most significant grape of the region. Other varietals that are used in the production of red wines are Garanoir, a Swiss bred varietal that is made by crossing Gamay and Reichensteiner; and Regent which is a German bred varietal that produces wines that have powerful tannins, a rich red colour and a cherry nose and flavour. The red wines of the region range from those that are fruity and easy drinking to reds that are well structured and aged in barrels.

Read more about Wineries in Thurgau to visit.


Where to Go When Spending Time in Thurgau      

Arenenberg – The Palace with the Napoleon Museum  

 Arenenberg is the only German-speaking museum that illustrates the history of Napoleon. Arenenberg is compared by many to Windsor Castle in Britain. It is perfectly located on Lake Constance in the Thurgau region of Switzerland. Inside the castle is a wonderful museum with a host of international artifacts, art, and breathtaking views over the waters of the lake. There is a strong British influence at the castle as Queen Hortense, her son Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie often visited Arenenbegr and made it a place of international fame. The castle is open to visitors throughout the year and hosts a number of special exhibitions.

Ittinger Museum       

The Ittinger Museum is part of the Kunstmuseum of Thurgau, both of which are conference and culture centers of the region. The location of the Ittinger Museum is a former monastery in Frauenfeld which has been home to many communities of monks over a number of centuries. Inside the Ittinger Museum, one can explore and learn more about the history of the location. There are a number of paintings that tell the story of Saint Bruno who founded the Carthusian Order in the Middle Ages. Inside the building, one can see the cells where the former inhabitants would sit in silence and solitude in order to become closer to God. The Ittinger Museum is a wonderfully informative place to visit that also provides tours and lectures on request.

St. George’s Abbey – The Beautiful Former Benedictine Monastery  

St. George’s Abbey is located in Stein am Rhein in the Thurgau region of Switzerland. What is now the abbey was once a Benedictine monastery that was moved to Thurgau by Emperor Henry II in 1007. The relocation of the abbey to Stein am Rhein played a major role of the development of the area and its commercial growth. During the 15th century, the building was completely rebuilt into much of which remains to be seen today. The building was built in the late Gothic architecture style and is one of the finest examples of this architecture across Europe. St. George’s Abbey is a wonderful place to visit to find peace and marvel at the splendor of the magnificent building.

Enjoy Hours of Entertainment at Conny–Land

 Conny-Land is located in Lipperswil in the Thurgau region of Switzerland and is the country’s largest amusement park. The park is situated near to Lake Constance and provides fun, entertainment and action for the whole family. Activities to enjoy at the park including riding the Cobra wagons, the Space Shot Tower ride, the Cobra roller coasters and the water sports at Vodoo Island. For smaller children and for those looking for something less adventurous, Conny-Land has regular sea lion and parrot shows and even offers visitors the chance to swim with the resident sea lions. For visitors travelling to Conny-Land from far, there are a number of nearby hotels that offer transfers to and from the park.


Enjoy the Breathtaking Natural Landscapes of Thurgau

The natural beauty in Thurgau is dominated by the breathtaking scenery provided by the magnificent Lake Constance. Thurgau is the perfect region for those who love hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities and the natural landscape is full of hidden treasures to explore. A visit to Thurgau provides the perfect escape into nature to reset and feel rejuvenated.

Lake Seerhein – The Major Lake of the Alps  

Lake Constance is made up of three bodies of water including the Oberseem the Untersee and Seerhein. Although the lake stretches across both Switzerland and Germany, Seerhein is located in Switzerland in the basin of Lake Constance. The Swiss shores of Lake Constance extend for over 43 miles between Stein am Rhein and Altenrhein. Along the shores are a number of picturesque lakeside towns and fishing villages that are a joy to explore. The route can be travelled either by boat, car or bicycle and is a wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the lake and its surroundings.

Seerucken – The Rolling Hills of Seerucken        

Seerucken is a rolling range of hills on the northern plateau of Switzerland. On the north side of the plateau, it overlooks Untersee which is part of the beautiful Lake Constance. The top of the plateau stretches over 700 meters and includes the small villages of Reutenen and Salen. The best way to experience Seerucken is to travel the Seerucken Route. This route takes one alongside the Rhine river, passed the famous St. Katherinatal Monstery into the countryside of Stammheim where there are some of the best panoramic views of the Alps. Fom there the route travels into the Scharenwald forest where one can see the old concealed bunkers built during World War II and rare forest communities. The route ends at the wonderfully romantic Bommer ponds and the lake shores at the town of Arbon.

Rhine Falls – The Waterfalls of the Rhine River

The Rhine falls in Switzerland from the most powerful waterfall in Europe and one of the most incredible natural spectacles in the country. The falls are located along a part of the Rhine River which is known as the High Rhine. At this point of the river, the water drops down to a lower level which creates the picturesque waterfall. The waterfall consists of a single drop that is 23 meters high and 150 meters wide. During the summer months, the water in the falls flows at an unbelievable rate of 600 000 liters per second and so this is the best time to witness just now majestic the waterfall is. Other activities available at the Rhine Falls include boat cruises, rock tours, Rhine crossings, and audio tours.

Close view of Rhine waterfall in Switzerland

The Foods to Try When in Thurgau         

The cuisine is Thurgau is dominated by the freshest of produce. It is said that half of all Switzerland apple juice and a third of all the country’s apples and pears come directly from Thurgau! The fresh ingredients and the beautiful natural environment make Thurgau the perfect place to take a journey through the best of Swiss gastronomy.

Capuns – A Staple Dish Across Thurgau  

Capuns is a traditional dish of the Thurgau region. The dish is so popular that there are many different versions of preparing it and that most families have their own take on Capuns. Capuns is made using a combination of dried meat and spätzle dough that is wrapped in chard leaves. The wrapped mixture if cooked in butter and slowly simmered in cream and stock. Once the wrapped parcels are ready, they are topped with crispy fried pieces of bacon and grated cheese.

Bundner Nusstorte – The Traditional Tart of Thurgau  

Bundner Nusstorte is a traditional tart of Thurgau that is made of a shortbread pastry filled with caramel and nuts. The most commonly used nuts used for the filling are walnuts but on rare occasions, different kinds of nuts are used. The recipe for Bundner Nusstorte dates back to 1900 when the tart was presented at a fair in Basel. Today the tart is served cut in slices and paired with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Schublig – The Most Popular Swiss Sausage

Schublig is one of the most popular Sausages in the Thurgau region. This sausage is made with either beef or pork meat. The meat is prepared with non-fat milk, spices, and onions. Once it is ready, Schublig is normally eaten raw but in some restaurants and shops, it can also be found lightly smoked, boiled, or grilled. This delicious sausage is usually served as an appetizer with cheese and a crisp glass of local wine.


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Map of Wineries in Thurgau wine region

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List of Wineries in Thurgau wine region

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