A steep road leads to this small castle dating from the 11thC. It was built on an extinct volcano and this hilltop position provided early warning of invading Turks and insurgent Hungarians centuries ago; nowadays, the view across rolling hills into Hungary and Slovenia is peaceful, with vineyards rather than armies marching in regular rows.
   The style is pleasant and comfortable rather than designer-deluxe; nevertheless, guests give a high rating for the personal atmosphere. The Winkler-Hermaden family have run the hotel for over 35 years, establishing a reputation for hospitality that is matched by the quality of their wines.
   On the 40 hectares (nearly 100 acres) of vineyards on rich volcanic soil, they grow ten types of grape, including traditional Austrian varieties such as traminer, grauburgunder and sauvignon blanc. From the main variety, Blauen Zweigelt, comes their popular Olivin. This is left in barrels, made from local oak, stored in the 17thC Löwenkeller. Food is light, creative and Styrian, featuring game in the autumn, lamb in the spring, plus garden-grown herbs and vegetables.