Nature an countryside experience
Holiday in the countryside in Langenargen at Lake Constance
The diversity of the natural landscape in and around Langenargen is counted among the most frequently mentioned reasons why guest return to Langenargen again and again for their holidays. The beautiful lake, forest areas, river landscapes, natural and cultivated orchards and the twines of hops growing in the district of Oberdorf, which can be seen from afar: In Langenargen nature expresses itself in a wonderful range of diversity. Ideal for recreation and relaxation.
Climate and geology
Lake Constance was created during the final stage of the Würm glaciation period (25-15.000 BC) through the advance of the western arm of the Rhine Glacier. This glacier dug out the basin to depths of up to 350 m in the molasse layer. With regard to surface area, Lake Constance is the third largest lake inCentral Europe. Only Lake Balaton in Hungary and Lake Geneva on the Swiss-French border are larger. In terms of water volume, Lake Constance comes second place after Lake Geneva. Lake Constance (536 km²) is divided into the Upper Lake (412 km²), Überlinger Lake (61 km²) and Lower Lake (63 km²).
The Lake Constance landscape is part of the pre-Alpine hill and moorland, which stretches from Lake Constance along the northern edge of the Alps to Salzach. Its creation and range of diversity is, to a large extent, due to the erosive and heaping forces of the glacier and flowing water. On a soft sandstone, the so-called freshwater molasse, lies a more or less thick layer of moraine rubble, which was left behind by the Ice Age glaciers.
The relatively low altitude (400 – 500 m above sea level) and the proximity of the heat storing Lake Constance provide a favourable climate and enable the cultivation of wine, hops and a wide range of fruit. The annual precipitation amount adds up to approx. 900 mm. The average (mean) annual temperature lies between 9 and 10 degrees Celsius. The sunshine duration amounts to an average of 1,700 hours/year.
The beginnings of orchard cultivation in Baden-Württemberg go right back to the 8th century. Some of the mixed fruit meadows that still exist today, were planted in the middle of the 18th century. They are such an attractive and popular sight that the blossoming mixed fruit meadows adorn innumerable homeland calendars and illustrated books. During the course of the past 30 years, however, up to 80% of the mixed fruit trees have been cleared away. Now the crunchy apples and pears of the Lake Constance region mainly grow in commercial orchards.
In addition to fruit and various other farm produce, the Lake Constance region is also renowned for its wines produced in local vineyards, where grapes are provided an ideally mild climate in which to ripen. Intensive vegetable cultivation at Lake Constance, which is particularly practiced on the island of Reichenau, is also extremely successful due to the favourable climate. The Schussental Valley near Tettnang not only has the advantage of a mild climate, but also sandy soil, which are perfect prerequisites for the cultivation of the delectable Lake Constance asparagus and the world-famous Tettnang hops. And last but not least, Lake Constance is also famous for its delicious fish, which thrive healthily in the clean water of the lake and are served, fresh from the catch, in the restaurants around the lake.
The apples of Lake Constance are grown on a cultivated are of around 7000 hectare. Approximately 220,000 tonnes are harvested annually and sold around Europe. Thus, the apple is the most common fruit of Lake Constance. Some of the popular varieties grown here are, for instance, Jonagold, Elstar, Golden Delicious, Gala, Cox Orange, Boskoop and Braeburn. The apples are marketed as eating apples or processed for the production of juice, cider and schnapps.
Apples are very healthy, because the are low on calories and contain lots of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fibres. Additionally, apples also contain sphytochemicals, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which are accredited to have a preventive effect against cancer. Could this possibly mean that apples could gain a new significance as a valuable form of nutrition? An apple a day...
In addition to Hallertau and three other small cultivation areas, Tettnang is counted among the 5 main hops growing regions in Germany. Hops are climbing plants from the botanical family of hemp plants and can grow up to 50 years or more in the same hops garden. The hops contain lupulin, a fine, yellowish powder with the most important substances required for beer production, such as alpha acids (bitter-tasting compounds) and essential oils. The hops not only give beer a pleasant bitter taste, but contribute toward the preservation and foam stability.
In the main growing phase during early summer, the hops can grow up to 30 cm per day, and up to 8 metres in 2 months. The hops are harvested as from the end of August. The aromatic Tettnang hops are considered to be one of the best hops in the world. 70 % of the harvest is exported. Although the USA is the second largest hops producer in the world after Germany, the largest proportion of the Tettnang hops are exported to US American breweries.
Lake Constance grapes are cultivated on an overall surface area of approximately 600 hectare. The harvest yields around 10,000 litre / ha. The main varieties are Müller-Thurgau, Kerner, Weißburgunder, Grauburgunder, Riesling, Spätburgunder, Merlot and Cabernet Dorio.
Winegrowing has a long-standing tradition at Lake Constance. Even the Romans cultivated grapevines here. The famous grape variety Müller-Thurgau also has its origins at Lake Constance, because Hermann Müller planted a new variety of grape in Tägerwilen in the Swiss canton of Thurgau for the fist time in 1892. He gave this variety his name, and nowhere else does this variety produce a more delicate and fine-fruity wine than in the Lake Constance region. The Mediterranean climate of Lake Constance and the soil weathered by glaciers and moraine gravel provide the wines of the region a filigreed elegance and fruitiness. Lake Constance acts as a kind of heat reservoir, which counterbalances the temperature differences between day and night, but also between summer and winter, thus, a mild, almost Mediterranean climate is provided. In addition to the heat storing properties, the water surface of the lake also reflects a proportion of the sun's rays into the local vineyards on the hills to additionally heat the soil, which adds toward ripening the heat-loving grapes and the production of excellent wines.
Lake Constance fish
The whitefish is the most famous and popular edible fish of Lake Constance. It can be served as a whole fish, but mostly as filets. Whitefish also tastes particularly good when smoked.
Most of the whitefish are bred in various breeding facilities around the lake and then released into Lake Constance. From 125 of the fish released into the lake, the fishermen and fisherwomen catch only an average of one. The rest remain in the natural life-cycle of nature.
The characteristics of the whitefish are a long and slender body with an adipose fin, olive to blue-green back and white-silver sides with a blueish sheen. The ideal catch size lies between 280 and 350 gram. Whitefish spawn in the period from November to December in open waters at great depths.
Around 170 fishermen and fisherwomen at Lake Constance still make a living from fishing today. During the main fishing season, between January and October, the gourmet fish are caught in nets, then they are distributed in restaurants around the lake, where they are cooked, smoked, grilled or fried by the excellent cooks of the region. In addition to the whitefish, perch is also a popular fish caught in the lake and served in many restaurants. Perch is prepared and served as fillets. It has a very intensive taste, which makes the fish ideal for steaming or frying.