An inadequate article from an Austrian wine tabloid needs me to send this message out earlier than I had hoped for: I will resign from my position as managing director from Premium Estates of Austria and have sought a new challenge.
In 2004, these young gentlemen pictured here (Alois Gölles, Gernot Heinrich, Fred Loimer, Josef Pöckl, Willi Sattler) got together and gave me the opportunity to assist them in their market activities across the globe. Over the years, this fine group called Premium Estates of Austria also exchanged ideas in terms of farming their vines and fruit trees and how to combat today’s issues in both vineyard and cellar. I was able to have a look at their production methods and to help them whenever time permitted in the field and at their estates, getting my hands dirty. Through these years, the relationship among the growers and myself grew stronger and stronger, like vines become with age.
I consider Fred Loimer as one of my greatest mentors in the wine world, the motor behind the new wave of biodynamics in our country and a driving force in the Kamptal who has shown me the massive beauty and diversity of this appellation and its wines. Always on the outlook of how to make things better, he has raised the bar for the perfect wine at his estate already massively high.
Gernot Heinrich’s pursuit for quality is unsurpassed and the social skills and activities of Heike and Gernot are truly unique and incomparable. All this can be felt in their wines. It was also them who at the very beginning of our cooperation suggested to bring the late Josef “Pepsch” Pöckl on board in case people out there were looking for a different style of Austrian red – long live his and his son’s Admiral, Rêve de Jeunesse and their other treasured beauties!
In 2007, our capital’s wine mayor thankfully joined us and from then on has brought more spice into our group with his outstanding field blends and the diverse portfolio hailing from some of the best sites of Vienna. With Fritz Wieninger’s charm present, it is impossible to say “no” to any of his fabulous wines. Everyone who has met him will most likely confirm this.
A most forward-thinking pioneering spirit, Alois Gölles has been with us since Day 1 and has stood by and with us, always taking challenges as another opportunity. His quest for perfection is undermined in basically everything he touches and has always rounded up our portfolio so beautifully with his fine spirits and artisanal vinegars.
The 1997 Kranachberg from Willi Sattler will always remain as my first “WOW”-wine and the Sattlerhof winery will forever take up a special place in my wine heart. It was also Willi and Maria Sattler who believed in me and gave me the chance to start our baby “Premium Estates” which has now grown up to a teenager.
Over the past 3 ½ years, a lady called Stefanie Lobner has helped me in “parenting” it and has done a phenomenal job. She is a most effective, jovial and positive-thinking colleague who one does not want to miss.
In the last 12 years, I have met some of the loveliest wine people across the globe whom many of them have become true friends. I have been able to travel the world extensively, holding up the Austrian wine flag and be an ambassador for some of the best estates our country offers. During this time, I was also given the opportunity to go for the most exciting wine study journey and became member of the Institute of Masters of Wine.
Simultaneously, two new citizens of this world came into my private orbit who I love to the moon and back. They need to see and feel me a bit more often than in the past years. More importantly, my wife who has been my biggest and greatest supporter during all these years deserves a husband who is at home on a slightly more regular basis.
This is why I needed to make a decision which was harder than I thought and resign from my present position at Premium Estates. I will, however, NOT be leaving a sinking ship but a pretty nifty speed boat in its teens which will then be headed by a professional, skilful and charming person.
I am sincerely thankful to all
the Premium Estates growers and their staff for all they have taught me and for everything they have made possible for me. Their wines, spirits and vinegars will forever remain something very
special to me and I wish my successor only the best!
Premium Estates of Austria – dynamic 2gether since 2004!