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No. 39

Good mood, crazy incline

«The wine world is diverse and exciting. There are so many varieties and regions to explore through a wine glass. That's why we are delighted to introduce you to Southern Styria in this issue, a gem that is still relatatively unknown in Switzerland. What the Wohlmuth family creates on their unique steep slopes is winemaking at its finest. A detour that is definitely worthwhile. Cheers!»

Dominic Blaesi & Renzo Schweri


Bottle of Sauvignon Blanc Südsteiermark DAC from Weingut Wohlmuth


Falstaff 93/100

«We cultivate the magic of small steps.» – Gerhard Wohlmuth

The Wohlmuth family home is on a steep uphill climb

The vineyards of the Wohlmuth family from southern Styria are among the steepest in Europe. At the end of a year growing wine, Gerhard Wohlmuth may as well be a hobby mountaineer as he will have climbed about as many metres in altitude. However, the charming Styrian prefers to achieve the best results with his wines, because the winegrowing family is known for its constant top ratings in all the major wine guides. Especially when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, they are undisputedly among the best in the world. Their winery covers a considerable size with 55 hectares of vineyards. Even more impressive, however, is the amount of work required per year: this amounts to 48 full-time jobs, 46 of which are needed in the vineyards. With a gradient of up to 90%, you won't get far with machines. Everything is done by hand. Anyone who is now imagining the Wohlmuths panting and groaning as they work is very much mistaken: the most frequently heard sound in the vineyard is Gerhard's resounding laughter.

«You need a lot of patience,» the winemaker admits, «not only because of going up and down the vineyard, but also because you're taking small steps over a long time. What I plant today will only really bear fruit in the next generation». The father of three sons is optimistic about the future, but he sees a big upheaval coming in the wine world: «The gap between industrial wine and artisanal wine will continue to widen.» Producing artisanal wine costs much more money and the costs will continue to rise. That's why lots of companies will soon have to decide what they want to rely on: machines or people? Mass production or wine as an art form? The Wohlmuth family only produces just under 300,000 bottles a year on their medium-sized farm. However, thanks to the consistent top quality and uniqueness of their products, their accounts work out. Much to the delight of all those people for whom wine is not simply a drink, but a cultural must-have.


Falstaff 93/100

Bottle of Zweigelt Rotburger Phyllit from Weingut Wohlmuth


Falstaff 92/100

Where terroir becomes art

The view from the Wohlmuth family vineyard is breathtaking: the gently rolling hills resemble the waves on a green ocean. The rows of vines look as if they have been painted on by an artistic hand. "Yes, you can't get enough of it!" confirms Gerhard Wohlmuth and adds: "It's like looking at great art, it makes you humble." That is why the Wohlmuth family's wine should not taste like a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire or a Zweigelt from Burgenland, but have its own authentic taste: "We want to create something unique. Wines full of power, expression and delicacy. These wines not only express the seasonality of the year, but also the place where they grew. For us, they are works of art whose uniqueness we emphasize with the annually changing image on the bottle." What is special about the Wohlmuth family's vineyards is not only the extremely steep slopes, but the interplay of various other factors: here it gets very cold at night – due to being 600 metres above sea level and its proximity to the mountains – and nice and warm during the day – thanks to the steep gradient and the slate soil. This means the grapes ripen more slowly and develop a multi-layered aroma. In addition, the phyllite slate provides natural drainage. The vines' roots have to reach deep down to get water. This keeps the berries smaller, which in turn produces more concentrated wines. In fact, when tasting Rotburg phyllite, you'll find it's all in the name! – a subtle slate note alongside juicy cherries and blackberries. A Zweigelt as harmonious as the view over southern Styria. Gerhard Wohlmuth has succeeded in depicting the terroir in an artistic way. Can you taste it?


Falstaff 92/100

Bottle of Tancredi «Dolce & Gabbana» Terre Siciliane IGT from Donnafugata

«Inspiring Sicily»

Tancredi has teamed up with Dolce & Gabbana

Hardly any other island is as colourful as Sicily: be it the turquoise sea, the yellow lemons, the colourful textiles or the famous ceramics. The sunny island is always colourful, but never flashy. Or as Goethe put it during his Italian tour: "Italy without Sicily creates no image in the soul: here is the key to everything." The colours and flavours are a wonderful expression of the liveliness, friendliness and natural elegance that you experience in Sicily.

No wonder, it was a Sicilian winery that shook up the wine world in the 1980s with unusually colourful labels, poetic wine names and top quality: Donnafugata. At the same time, the Dolce & Gabbana fashion label similarly began providing welcome splashes of colour at international fashion shows. Domenico Dolce is Sicilian, and his homeland has always been the main source of inspiration for the luxury brand's globally celebrated Mediterranean aesthetic. Now the two pioneers have teamed up and have arrayed Donnafugata's red wine Tancredi in a Dolce & Gabbana outfit: it suits the gorgeous creation exceptionally well!

Bottle of Sienta Blanche from SientaBottle of Sienta Rouge from Sienta

«Socialising with Sientan»

Sienta wines always receive accolades everywhere

«Lappi tue d'Augen uf!» (Fool, open your eyes!) – if the slogan on the Schaffhausen city gate is meant to keep potential shopping tourists away from German discount stores... it works! Even if the Lappi keeps their eyes closed, they should have noticed the trend of enjoying local products. We pay more than just lip service to our homeland – and here it's in liquid form, melting in our mouths with particular relish: the market share of Swiss wine rose to an impressive 37 per cent, and Robert Parker of the critics' guild praised 216 of the 281 «Weingenossen» tasted this year as remarkable to exceptional, awarding 90 points or more in each case. The creative and tradition-conscious Valais scene – unlike FC Sion at present – is playing in the Premier League. That makes sense, actually, because there are vineyards on practically every free space on the flanks of the Rhone Valley protected by the Alpine ridges. Over a total of 4680 hectares, the vines bathe in sunshine for up to 2000 hours a year. No one in the country trumps these two Dufour-peak values. That's when you get things like the drinking-friendly "Sienta" duo, which has been reliably enrapturing "Üsserschwiiz" since 2017. That's what they call the rest of the country beyond the Rhone glacier, the Lötschberg and Lake Geneva, where the Valais dialect often causes confusion. Everyone understands Valais wine, however – from Frère Jacques to Guggisberger Vreneli to Schaffhauser Lappi. It's something that's always been understood here...

Bottle of TADA Rosé from House of Wonders


«Welcome to the House of Wonders»

The Darling

Imagine finding a key that opens the door into a very special place – a house where the boundaries between fantasy and reality blur, where there is a touch of magic in the air and everyday life loses its rigid outlines. The creative and surprising wines of «House of Wonders» are just that – the keys to extraordinary moments in everyday life.

House of Wonders is about more than just wine. It is an invitation to see and enjoy life in all its glory. It's about being our true selves and celebrating true friendship. Who needs superficial facades? Who wants to be normal all the time? «Tada» therefore stands for wines with a strong character and honesty that make no compromises. Neither in quality, nor in sustainability.


Bottle of TADA Tempranillo from House of Wonders

The charmer

Here, opening the bottle becomes a ritual and every sip an experience. They say the best wine is the one you drink with your friends. True... if the wine is of high quality! What could be pleasanter than sitting around the table with your favourite people and bouncing ideas off each other? At times like this, anything seems possible. A carnivorous plant as a pet? Bathing in a wine barrel? A party in the attic? Welcome to the House of Wonders!

Bottle of TADA Verdejo from House of Wonders

The cool

The «Tada» wines all have a mantra and that's bringing inspiration into your life. Look unabashedly through the keyhole! There's nothing to hide here, just a lot of extraordinary things to discover. «House of Wonders» searches the world for the most exciting wines and unites them under one roof. So you don't have to worry about which grape variety, which region or which vinification method suits you best. Just trust the lovable nerds from the House of Wonders!

Bottle of Rioja Amaren Reserva 60 from Bodegas Amaren


Mundus Vini Grand Gold 2023, 93/100 Guía Peñín, 91/100 Rober Parker, 91/100 Tim Atkin

«A matter of the heart»

Bodegas Amaren has one goal: producing the best Rioja wine

There are often great stories behind great wines. Rioja Amaren is a fine example of this fact: throughout her life, Ángeles Herrera worked tirelessly in the fields and in the family winery. With her determination and passion for wine, she played a decisive role in her husband Luis Cañas's decision to found his own winery in 1970. The two had recognised the potential of their vineyards – and no longer wanted to sell their grapes to the big wineries, but to produce high-quality wines themselves. And as a result, the Cañas family did pioneering work and became a role model for many other winegrowers in the region! Her son Juan Luis always admired Ángeles for her drive, approach to work, and her optimism. After her death in 1995, it was his heart's desire to found a winery in honour of his mother to produce the best Rioja wines. Old vineyards, ageing in cement tanks and a lot of heart and soul are the cornerstones for the exceptional quality of Bodegas Amaren wine.


Mundus Vini Grand Gold 2023, 93/100 Guía Peñín, 91/100 Rober Parker, 91/100 Tim Atkin

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