GERMANY (Baden-Baden) - Günther von Drabich-Waechter, her father, was ahead of his time. As early as over 30 years ago, he together with what used to be Kehler Lagergesellschaft (a daughter of the Schenk house) created special wine offers with an attractive, informative catalogue – long before other producers became active to create similar offers for drop shipment. He had much knowledge about wine, and beyond enough convincibility and charm to be successful in selling his wines.
Obviously he bequeathed all this to Pia, his daughter, who is today running differently structured wine companies from Baden-Baden. Until her father died in 2008, she was able to work together with him for just under ten years. This was possible because in 1989, at the young age of 61, after he had been working as an employee for many years, he decided to become self-employed (this means that in 2014, the company can celebrate its 25th jubilee).
At that time, his daughter was about to pass her A-level degree at the strict school of Salem castle; four years later, she graduated from the Munich Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität as a certified economist, before working in the tourism and event business – and Günther, her father, made sure that she never lost the contact to wine. “It has always been part of my life”, she says in retrospective. It was hard-wired that one day she would be working together with her father.
In 1998, she did an intense training about the topic of wine in small and large wineries in France (Burgundy and Beaujolais, Bordeaux), according to the motto: “learning by doing”. “Every day, we had tastings but also marketing trainings, we had to help during the wine harvest, and we had to participate in evening courses of the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB). This was helpful for me to accomplish practical skills theoretical knowledge”, she, who is today 44 years old and who is blessed with a youthful temper, remembers this crash course.
From 1999 on, she had a “wonderful time where she worked with her father”, who ten years before had founded the Tastevin wine trading society and a wine distribution ltd. company, both of them being companies offering a portfolio which is international but where French wines are predominant. They are selling their wines via salesmen to private customers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. From the beginning, they have been focusing on a high quality in their wines, no matter if they come from famous houses or from totally unknown producers.
Three years ago, she opened a small shop in Baden-Baden: Vineur Select: Monthly events dedicated to certain topics are contributing for the number of clients to grow. During those events, unusual wines like growths from Romania are being talked about, or there are evenings organized under the motto: “wine, women and song” under the leadership of sommelière Natalie Lumpp, connected with a presentation of her “wine heroes”. As this is the youngest child of the wine power woman, who is busy all the time but who nine years ago found the time to marry Peter W. Kruse, an architect; thus, she had to take over the co-responsibility for his two children (22 and 16 years old).
“Weinhelden” (wine heroes) is the name of the online shop of Vineur Select. Meanwhile there are numerous shops like this, and whoever wants to make a name for oneself and to be successful has to come up with something special and to focus with one’s efforts to information. Pia’s heroes are less-known vintners from different countries who offer high-quality wines at reasonable prices. From Germany, she has got growths from Boris Kranz (Palatinate), Marc Weinreich and Ruppert Deginther (both Rheinhessen) – three newcomers – as well as from the unknown Christian Brendel (south Palatinate) in her portfolio. The only Austrian winery is the one of Birgit Wiederstein from the Carnuntum region (...read Knolls wine tip: "XXXXX"). The portfolio is accomplished by producers from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. A wine heroes’ blog yields stories and useful as well as amusing information from the world of wine. A useful side effect for Pia von Drabich-Weachter is that she got to know sorts of grape other than Pinot noir, her favorite (‘I’m an absolute fan but the sort requires a vintner’s full attention”. Meanwhile it’s above all Riesling that she really falls for because “it has got so many facets.” (r.knoll)