I am reminded of a fancy dinner with Heinz Winkler in Aschau about 16 years ago - including many pictures and articles in the news and economic magazines. Once I see the sign on his collar it becomes clear to me that it is indeed Bernd Pischetsrieder. Only one more point leaves no doubt at all: the Sattler list of wines that includes Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Hochgrassnitzberg from Winery Dr. Pischetsrieder.
We strike a conversation and he tells me that he knows the guest from his journalistic job, since he has been an enthusiastic Vinum-suscriber for years. He goes on to tell me that his second wine came from a parcel of 1.2 hectares, which he has owned for a couple of years. The first harvest of 2009 was not enough to get anything out of. 200 liters only..., this amount can quickly be consumed among a group of friends. Now, however, he has so much that he can make money off of it. His wine is very tender, elegant and complex, simply a firstclass wine from the Südsteier that shows the signature of a top vintner. Bernd Pischetsrieder explains that he is not the producing vintner but that he relies on Willi Sattler. "It's the professionals that take care of that part. I'm only allowed to help bringing in the harvest."
There are also professionals in charge of sales. Alpina-boss Burkard Bovensiepen has ensured his rights for the German market. This pretty much closes the circle for Dr. Pischetsrieder, the "junior winemaker". The Munich-born (vintage 1948) was employeed as chairman with BMW between 1993 and 1999 and later with Volkswagen between 2002 and 2006. For the past six years he continued to receive his salary from VW, but unfortunately the recipient of the Federal Cross of Merit (2004) got on the bad side of VW-boss Piëch and thus had to resign from his position as chairman. Conclusively, he spent the past couple of years taking care of his vineyard and his second residence in South Styria.
The circle closes as Alpina is also active in the car manufacturing business. Bovensiepen has done so for many years and his luxurious series are BMW vehicles. However, he will get furious if you call him a "tuner". After all, the Alpina-boss calls his company a "farmer of automotive masterworks". Some of his wines could definitely be considered such... (r.knoll)