Birgit Wiederstein drinks wine from a glass at a fountainWines I love are subtle, elegant, multi-layered,…

There are wines that are like a summer rock concert in the open air:

loud, demanding, numbing and after a day you still have a “palate-tinnitus”

There are wines that are like a “seat concert” in a small setting:

immediate – without amplification, gentle, subtle, precise and nuanced, if a sound is not quite hit here, one notices this and imfinements do not go down in the big noise.

Both can be impressive, both can be funny, both can touch and be remembered, both can be beautiful yet quite different.

I am looking for these subtle, elegant impressions, for subtle nuances that sometimes come straight back and sometimes you can also observe the development, which happens and impresses on its own without your own intervention. I like unadulterated, straight-line wines that surprise.

I see my task in the winemaking as a companion. Nature is a coherent system in itself and I, as a winemaker, can be a part of it. I am an observer, trying to understand and translate into my language. It’s like a conversation between me and the vines, where many questions arise and there is rarely an answer.

Work in the vineyardIf I really want to communicate, I can only do it directly with full mental and physical presence. As a winemaker and caretaker of the vines, I also have to feel the wind, the rain, the sun and in winter the snow and the cold if I want to understand. I have taken responsibility for about 20,000 vines, that they are doing well and that the vines are so keen to provide for great offspring. The vine only produces grapes because it wants to reproduce and has to supply the seeds in the berries optimally. As a winemaker, I use the accersory, the coat around the valuable seeds from the point of view of the vine… You already notice when you read – “Yes, I don’t think much of seedless grapes!” – and my vines know that too…

I heard a few years ago that state intelligence agencies have a great interest in distinguishing the truth from false statements. This is not a big throw yet and has nothing in common with wine making at first glance. But! In tests for lie detectors, for example, stress potentials were measured in houseplants, and when they were loudly stated that they would soon be removed and thrown away or cut around, the stress levels of the plants increased. It became clear to me from this realization that we must not curse in the vineyards, in the cellar and at work. Whether that’s nonsense or not doesn’t really matter. For example, if we are sitting in the car and the driver of the rear car thinks that we are not behaving correctly in his/her sense on the road, then we notice that; we do not need to be able to read lips or have seen clear hand signals; we notice when cursed and if someone is unsympathetic to us, one can assume that the opposite is true. Hence my conclusion that it is very important to approach the vines with pleasure. From a very pragmatic point of view, even if this consideration falls into the category of “emotional humbug” for oneself who works in the vineyard, it makes a difference whether one goes to work with joy or griesgram.

VinesAnother aspect of my understanding of wine is the experience that every child who comes into the world brings his own character traits. The saying that you should give children roots first and if they are to grow up and you give them wings is nicely said, is tried to understand and yet is so difficult to implement. In the wine making it is also an attempt to understand, to allow and to intervene when absolutely necessary. As a winemaker, you set the direction, you leave your own handwriting. I make daily decisions for the benefit of my vines, whether it rains enough or too much, how to react to drought, humidity and hail. I make decisions and set a direction. This is exactly where I try to understand and feel the vine is often a wordy interlocutor and the weather is clownesque anyway.

All these are ideals that I sincerely feel in my work, thoughts that accompany me in the vineyard and each of my wines is in itself a representation of these ideals and an expression of my understanding of the vines and their needs. Therefore, each of my wines has been given its own name in order to account for the attempt to account for the locations, the varieties and their characteristics.

The handiwork is really important to me. What I had to learn most of all through my decision to become a winemaker was accepting. As soon as your own workbench is in the open air, one cannot manage all fates, but one must sometimes be able to accept it. The beauty of this is that no year is the same, and not every one of my grape varieties and vineyards is equally affected. This is true in positive matters, as well as in tedious matters. Not only the winemaker leaves her signature, but also by capricious weather conditions sign every vintage anew.

That’s why I can’t talk about good and bad vintages. For me, vintages are also a reflection of the winemakers understanding and sometimes happy or unfortunate weather events – but always coupled with a gain in knowledge and behind each vintage is a year of honest manual work.

To all those who have read so far, I would like to express my sincere thanks for the interest.