Our guest this evening is the Deputy Managing Director of the Austrian winery Winzer Krems. His grandfather was one of the founding members of the local cooperative that merged with Winzer Krems in 1962. Ludwig has spent his life as part of the winery, starting when he was a young boy helping his parents in the vineyards.
And he joins me live now from his home in Austria: Welcome to the Sunday Sipper Club Ludwig Holzer!
It’s midnight there, and you just finished hosting a week-long music festival … the main stage is just outside your office. Has last concert wrapped up?
Winzer Krems hosted this event since 1997, more than a hundred musicians from all over Europe — 18 bands from 17 different countries. the roofed yard of your winery’s building holds 1000 visitors and offers a marvelous view overlooking the small town, the vineyards and the Danube River.
The upcoming harvest in Austria: we have a very extreme situation as the ripeness of the grapes is 3-4 weeks ahead of a “normal” year. Another proof for the ongoing climate change?
Besides the traditional young fruity qualities of our wines, we have a long tradition to age our Grüner Veltliner. We have stock vintages since 1946.
You grew up helping your parents in the vineyards: what was your favourite or most memorable moment as a child?
What was the exact moment when you realized that you wanted to be in the wine industry as your career? Tell us exactly where you were? What triggered the thought? How did you feel? What was the next step you took to get going on the path?
We know that Austria has great soils and a cool climate, but tell us something that we don’t know about Austria when it comes to making wine?
Apart from tasting lots of different wines from Austria and visiting the region, how would you suggest that our community here tonight really get to know Austria?
What’s your favourite failure? (Let’s avoid bad weather ;) Where were you? What happened? How did you feel? What did you do to recover? What did you learn from this experience that made you stronger or better in some regard?
Now take us to the best moment of your wine career: what happened? (Let’s avoid awards and reviews ;) Where were you? What happened? How did you feel?
What’s the most memorable thing someone has ever said about your wines?
What was something you were wrong about as it relates to making wine?
What does Austria need to do differently to grow and be successful as a wine region that it is not doing now?
Which winemaker do you admire most in the world? Why specifically other than he or she makes great wines, is attentive to terroir etc?
Describe the downright weirdest wine pairing you’ve ever had? Where were you? Describe the food in detail and the flavours? Which wine? Did it work or not as a pairing.
Click on the arrow above to hear Ludwig’s story about…
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WINZER KREMS eG is one of the most significant producers and the most successful exporter of estate bottled quality wine in Austria. The location in Krems together with the venerable address “Sandgrube 13” obliges us to produce wines of high quality. The estate is owned by 962 winegrowers who grow their grapes on 990 hectares/~ 2.450 acres in Krems and the surrounding wine growing regions (Kremstal, Traisental, Wachau, Wagram, Kamptal).
Board of Managers
Chairman of the Board: Mr. Franz BAUER
Managing Director: Mr. Franz EHRENLEITNER
Deputy Managing Director: Mr. Ludwig HOLZER
Chief Winemaker: Mr. Franz ARNDORFER
Number of employees: 82
Consultancy in the vineyards – Winegrowers deliver the best grapes
The winegrowers observe guidelines for pruning, soil treatment, foliage treatment and pest management. Very important is the role of selective harvest reduction. Our quality consultants check compliance with these guidelines during the whole cycle of the wine year. Since 2003 they are supported by the University of Agriculture in Vienna.
Harvest Management / Qualification
Exclusively hand-picked grapes are gathered according to an exact harvesting plan. The qualification follows a quite sophisticated system, which is based upon the grape variety, the sugar content, harvest day and an internal classification system for the terroir of the vineyard. Due to these strict measures WINZER KREMS has established itself as the major quality wine producer in Austria.
Grape Varieties (Harvest 2017)
54% Grüner Veltliner
10% Muskateller, Frühroter Veltliner (Malvasier), Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer Welschriesling, Müller Thurgau
23% Blauer Zweigelt
3% Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc Blauburger, Blauer Portugieser
During the processing the grapes follow of the gravity: from the takeover to the lower press house, from there as must into the new fermention cellar below.
All white grapes are juiced without mashing and entrapping directly in pneumatic presses under gentle pressure using the method of whole-grape pressing. The results are pure, fresh-fruity wines, which are
matured particularly wholesome.
The must ferments in stainless steel barrels under constant control of the temperature. The further
maturation is carried out reductively with cold-sterile filling under exclusion of oxygen.
The red wines are obtained by the classical method of mash fermentation. The most valuable of them will mature after the fermentation in small oak barrels (barrique).
The persistent strive for quality and the hard work and efforts of the winegrowers have been worthwhile. WINZER KREMS wines regularly receive highest national and international awards:
• March 2018: MUNDUS VINI
Gold medal for Kremstal DAC Grüner Veltliner 2017
Gold medal for Grüner Veltliner “Kremser Sandgrube” 2017
• February 2018 & July 2017: BERLINER WINE TROHPY
Berliner Gold for EDITION CHREMISA Blauer Zweigelt 2015
Berliner Gold for „13“ Grüner Veltliner 2016
• Berliner Gold for WEINMANUFAKTUR KREMS Grüner Veltliner 2016
Berliner Gold for WEINMANUFAKTUR KREMS Blauer Zweigelt 2016
• January 2018: WEINWIRTSCHAFT Magazine/ Germany
Top 100 wines of the year 2017
1st place for WEINMANUFAKTUR KREMS Grüner Veltliner 2016 in the category “International white wine in retail“ and “White wine Austria”
• September 2017: Kremstal DAC Cup 2017/ Austria
92 points for KREMSER PFAFFENBERG Riesling 2016
91 points for KREMSER WACHTBERG Grüner Veltliner 2016
91 points for KREMSER GOLDBERG Grüner Veltiner 2016
• December + July 2017: WINE ENTHUSIAST Magazine / USA
93 points for KREMSER PFAFFENBERG Riesling 2016
92 points for KREMSER WACHTBERG Grüner Veltliner 2016
90 points & Best Buy für Grüner Veltliner „Kremser Sandgrube“ 2016
90 points for KREMSER GOLDBERG Grüner Veltliner 2016
• May 2017: DECANTER WORLD WINE AWARDS 2017
93 points for KREMSER PFAFFENBERG Riesling 2015
• December & May 2016: WINE SPECTATOR Magazine / USA
90 points for KREMSER WACHTBERG Grüner Veltliner 2015
93 points for KREMSER PFAFFENBERG Riesling 2013
Sales and Marketing
More than 45% of the total turnover is made outside of Austria. The major market is Germany, managed through our subsidiary in Passau, which was established in 1972. Other export markets are: USA, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Estonia, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, China.
The heart of the company is the winery tour „SANDGRUBE 13 wein.sinn“. Over 8 stations, guests experience the fascination of wine with all their senses and learn everything about wine, the wine production and the region (www.sandgrube13.at). The highlight of the tour is a 4D-film (3D with fragrances).
Ing. Ludwig Holzer, MSc
Deputy Managing Director
Winzer Krems eG, Sandgrube 13, 3500 Krems
Tel43 2732 85511-25 firstname.lastname@example.org
Born on December 6, 1962 as son of a winegrower family in small village near Krems/ Austria.
Ludwig has 2 daughters – Lisa and Julia.
Today he is living in Krems and is one of the 980 cooperative members of WINZER KREMS. Education
September 2015 – June 2017 Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt/ WIFI Niederösterreich Master course: Academical Business Manager (Master of Science studies (MSc)
1985/1986 University of Economics University course: Certified export merchant
July 1982 – February 1983 Military service at the Austrian Armed Forces Military training to Sanitary Corporal
May/June 1982 A-Level at the Federal higher institute for viticulture and pomiculture Klosterneuburg (passed with distinction)
1977 – 1982 A-Level school (Federal higher institute for viticulture and pomiculture) in Klosterneuburg
1973 – 1977 Grammar school in Etsdorf
1969 – 1973 Primary school in Engabrunn
1979/1980/1981 Internship at WINZER KREMS eG
Since April 1, 1983 Employee at WINZER KREMS eG
1983/1984 Focus on Austrian gastronomy sales Temporary administration of the warehouse in Vienna
From 1985 Employee in the export department Focus on customer service (gastronomy and specialized trade) in South Germany, develop the UK business relationship
Since 1989 Export Manager Responsible for all export markets. He developed the export business of Winzer Krems to almost 50% of the total turnover
Since 2018 Sales Director Deputy Managing Director
Languages German (native language) English (excellent in speech and writing)
IT knowledge MS Office
Driving license A, B, C, C1, F
Practicing winegrower Running, reading, riding Motorcycle
Already his grandfather Karl Holzer was one of the founding members of the local cooperative which merged with Winzer Krems in 1962. Ludwig spend his full life along or as part of Winzer Krems. Already as a young boy he used to help his parents in the vineyards. Working in the vineyard is his most important hobby until today. Beside his professional career at Winzer Krems, he is one of the cooperative members producing grapes (Grüner Veltliner and Blauer Zweigelt) on more than one hectare (2,5 acre)