Master of Wine ceremony with Michael Cox (1951-2014), Master of the Worshipful Company of Vintners
Master of Wine ceremony with Michael Cox (1951-2014), Master of the Worshipful Company of Vintners

Born in the town hosting the oldest brewery in the world, Freising/Germany, who would have thought that it will take me deep down the wine alley? However, everyone in the trade knows that after a long day of tasting wine, there is nothing better than that first sip of a fresh beer! So, here is that link to my birthplace!

 

Still, I consider my true home Steiermark since I was brought up in the town of Weiz and spent all my childhood and teenage life there.

 

In the college of tourism and hotel management in Bad Gleichenberg, I deepened my wine knowledge, especially through a student buddy who shared some of the finest examples of Claret but also of the New World with me. Ridge's Monte Bello opened my eyes for California before I turned 20. In 1998, our visit to Sattlerhof included tasting the 1997 Kranachberg with Willi Sattler. This was undoubtedly a monumental moment in my wine life! 

 

My study time in Australia's Brisbane offered me superb access to the wine world down under before I headed to work in the USA. In both Princeton and Vail, I intensified my wine studies. Inbetween these two stays in the US, my year working in fine dining establishments in the French Alps and Corsica taught me much about wine from this beautiful country. 

 

Having returned to Austria in late 2003, the Premium Estates of Austria idea was born. Working for these growers until early 2016 was an immensely rewarding journey and taught me so much about the production of wine but also the global wine trade. Now, the eyes and energy are focussed on the big challenge as general manager of Austria's renowned Weingut Bründlmayer, a tremendously exciting job!

 

In 2005, I graduated from the Weinakademie Österreich and received my WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits. From the early 2000s onwards, I always had in my mind to at least try to what seems the hardest test of knowledge and ability in the world of wine - the Master of Wine (MW) qualification. So, I started this journey in 2008 and 4 years later, I had passed all three parts of the exam and graduated in the historic surroundings of London's Vintner's Hall.

 

All this would have been very difficult to achieve without the gracious support and understanding of my family, especially my wife, my closest friends and all members of Premium Estates of Austria. 

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