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VieVinum 2024 - Kick-off Dedicated to the New Generation

From 25 May to 27 May 2024, the glittering HOFBURG Vienna will once again serve as the beautiful setting for Austria's renowned international wine trade fair, VieVinum. The countdown to the big event has already begun with the selection of young winemakers who qualified for the accompanying cross-mentoring programme as part of the Gerd A. Hoffmann Academy.

It is the central networking platform for the Austrian wine sector: Every two years, VieVinum attracts winemakers, wine experts and wine lovers from all around the world to Vienna. A key component of this event is the Gerd A. Hoffmann Academy with its cross-mentoring programme for young winemakers. Established by Alexandra Graski-Hoffman in memory of her father, VieVinum-founder Gerd A. Hoffmann, and with awareness of the world’s increasingly competitive wine market, the academy and it’s programme  - under the  patronage of Johannes Schmuckenschlager, president of the Austrian Winegrowers Association - bring together young winegrowers who are mentored for several months by renowned Austrian business professionals and society personalities. The exchanging of experiences will cover a range of topics and questions about everyday business life, internationalisation, the circular economy and digitalisation.

Sustainability, Positioning ...

This year, 13 promising young talents were selected and matched, based on their interests, with the appropriate mentors. As the kick-off event, the first big get-together of all mentees and mentors was held on Tuesday, 30 January, at the Members Club Am Hof 8 in downtown Vienna.  Accompanied by a fine selection of wines, mutual expectations and goals were formulated and the first concrete measures were reported. "We immediately hit it off,” said winemaker Alexander Paul about his mentor meeting. “My mentor, Elisabeth Zehetner (Managing Director of oecolution austria) can give me ideal advice on the topic of sustainability and offer me many opportunities to present my wines." Winemaker Susanne Riepl recounted how the first meeting with her mentor, Thomas Neusiedler (CEO, Helvetia Insurance Austria), seemed to pass so quickly, and how they had discussed positioning in detail. Also in attendance were some alumni from the previous year, such as winemaker Katharina Baumgartner. "You get to know so many new people through this programme,” she reflected. “And the great thing is that contact with the mentors continues beyond VieVinum. It's great what the VieVinum team offers here!"

Into the Future with Power and Confidence

The atmosphere at this first get-together was marked by enthusiasm and excitement about the new sense of optimism. VieVinum organiser Alexandra Graski-Hoffmann is delighted with the successful start: "We are celebrating our 30th anniversary as a trade fair and event organiser this year. And my wish is for this programme to strengthen our community even further, open new perspectives for all of the participants, and that we’ll head into the next VieVinum years with power and confidence." Chris Yorke, Managing Director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, VieVinum’s most important cooperation partner, also sees great benefits for the young winemakers. "We are a wine country that produces very high-quality and environmentally conscious wines, and we combine exciting contrasts such as modernity and tradition,” he said. “That's why I'm a strong advocate of this cross-mentoring programme. Because these young people are the future."