What motivates the young winemakers in Austria? What challenges are they facing today and in the future? How is the profile of their profession changing? VieVinum founder Alexandra Graski-Hoffmann addresses these topics and many other issues with her newly launched Gerd A. Hoffmann Academy, which connects young winemaking talents with prominent experts of the domestic economy for mutual exchange.
A major generational change is taking place in the Austrian winegrowing scene today. The winemaking newcomers now at the helm are setting the future course for Austrian wine and, thus, for a significant part of this country’s agriculture, trade and tourism sectors. In 1998, Alexandra Graski-Hoffmann and her father, Gerd A. Hoffmann, founded the VieVinum wine trade fair, the highly respected international showcase for Austrian wine held every two years at the HOFBURG palace in Vienna. And over these past 24 years, the trade fair organiser has worked intensively with Austria’s winegrowing community, making her highly attunded to the continuously evolving challenges and needs of the winemakers. The many changes that she has observed can be reflected, for example, in the generational shifts now taking place in the wineries. In the past, the primary concerns of a parent-run winery tended to focus around development opportunities, or modernisation and expansion; today's young winegrowing talents are highly focused on topics such as digitalisation, internationalisation, tourism networking, climate change and the recycling economy.
Motivation for the Mentoring Programme
After the passing of Gerd A. Hoffmann last year, many now-prominent winemakers had expressed how much they appreciated his support and how it extended far beyond the trade fair context. From this came the idea of setting up the Gerd A. Hoffmann Academy in memory of his work - the professionalised continuation of standard-practice business ethics intended as an investment in the future of Austria's young generation of winemakers.
New Impulses and Contacts
Now the starting signal has been given: 24 young winemakers who applied to the Gerd A. Hoffmann Academy have been connected with their mentors. It is the first step toward addressing today’s important topics, receiving new impulses and making valuable contacts. And, of course, it is important that goals are set right from the start – the results of which will be presented at the beginning of May, just before VieVinum 2022 takes place. The M.A.C. Hoffmann team will be accompanying the tandems during their collaboration and will report on their special moments and milestones.
Winemakers & Mentors
Michael Bauer & Josef Floh, Gastwirtschaft Der Floh (restaurant)
Katharina Baumgartner & Eva Pölzl, ORF Moderator
Georg Dujmovits & Bert Copar, Management consultant
Anna Faber & Birgit Reitbauer, Steirereck (restaurant)
Bernhard Fischer & Lilli & Joachim Gradwohl, Das kleine Wirtshaus (restaurant)
Gerald Freinbichler & Michael Krammer, Entrepreneur, Ventocom
Simon Gattinger & Mag. Thomas Neusiedler, CEO Helvetia Österreich
Johann Gisperg & Markus Ertler, Investor and CBA, Certified Business Angel
Alois Gollenz & Silvia Berghofer, Seliger bespoke furnishing
Gabriel Grassl & Dr. Harald Hauke, Board of Directors AGR & ARAPlus
Andreas Gritsch & Jacqueline Pfeiffer, Star Chef
Alexander Herzinger & Mag. Sigi Menz, Vice Chairman of the Board of Ottakringer Getränke AG and Stakeholder representative
Johannes Hofbauer-Schmidt & Dr. Bernulf Bruckner, Wine expert, Banking advisor Friedrich
Friedrich Hutter & Dr. Petra Stolba, Tourism manager
Franz Paul Jagschitz & Leo Doppler, Hansen Börse (restaurant)
Julia Kroiss & Annemarie Foidl, Angereralm (restaurant) and President of Sommelier Union Austria
Helmut Lang & Stefanie Herkner, Zur Herknerin (restaurant)
Michael Liegenfeld & Michaela Reitterer, Boutiquehotel Stadthalle, Sustainability expert
Benita Lobner & Manuela Krings-Fischer, Kringsalm (restaurant)
Gregor Nimmervoll & Veronika Doppler, Vestibül (restaurant)
Lisa Paschinger & Mag. Alexandra Graski-Hoffmann, VieVinum organiser & Johannes Graski, Sports manager
Viktoria Preiß & Dr. Gabriela Straka, Member of Management Board and Spokesperson, Brau Union Österreich
Matthias Reckendorfer & Dr. Erwin Pröll, Former Governor of Lower Austria
Thomas Schuster & Paul Ivic & André Drechsel, Tian Wien (restaurant)