The Upper Venosta Valley was once known as the "granary of Tyrol"
. During the 20th century, fruit orchards replaced grain cultivation, but the increasing demand for ecological and organic food brought back the regional grain. The main crops are wheat, rye, spelt and buckwheat, also known as Schwarzplent (“near-polenta“) in South Tyrol. A major buyer of the local grain is PUNI in Glorenza/Glurns
, the first and only whiskey distillery in Italy.
The local "Vinschger Paarl"
, made of regional wheat and rye enjoys particular popularity. Its ancestor, the "Ur-Paarl" was invented 800 years ago by the Benedictine monks of the Monte Maria monastery and is still produced and sold today.