The place – or rather places – where it all begins. For me, the vineyards always come first. Even here on this website.

I'm lucky enough to have been born into a winemaking family in a winemaking village. To a dad with long-time experience from working in a German vine nursery. This “German period” served as an incredible source of know-how, vines and sometimes even second-hand equipment once we started to put together our own family vineyards - both restituted and newly bought plots where I worked my ass off since I was a kid.

All our vineyards are herbicide / pesticide / industrial fertiliser / systemic treatment free. Of course. When speaking about my wine, I usually use the word normal instead of the earlier authentic, natural, artisanal, low-intervention terms. I simply grow vines in the normal way, with no other labels needed. And I see the same thing happening with the winemakers who inspire me. The name on the bottle - a name that you know is trustworthy - is IMO the most important seal of approval. Way more reliable than all the tags and hashtags.

We do use some biodynamic practices, but tbh I don't like how it's become a bit of a marketing gimmick. When working this way in the vineyards, you usually don't have much time left to talk about it. We only use things that we understand, things I consider important, and things that react to what's happening in the vineyard at the given moment. “See what you’re looking at,” as chef Dan Barber writes in his book The Third Plate.

So this is it, my land of freedom. Playgrounds. Stories. Sometimes tabula rasa, sometimes historically conditioned and laid out. I won't tell you about the spacing, plantation density and other technicalities. What matters is my relationship with these places and what makes them produce wines that exceed the… well, normal.


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