From father to daughter

by Franziska Katterbauer
Christina Wess profile-shoot

As the grapes are reaching the cellar, the new vintage is beginning to ferment. This is a very special one for the Wess Winery, because in early 2023 Christina took over her father's winery. Rainer Wess began cultivating some of the best parcels in the Krems Valley about 20 years ago, establishing the Rainer Wess brand and extending network in the wine world. The young winemaker can now build on this foundation.

Born in Krems, Christina decided at a young age to follow in her father's footsteps. In fact, she knew even before she went to high school that she wanted to become a winemaker. Determined, she later graduated from the prestigious viticulture school Klosterneuburg near Vienna. Before Christina joined her father's winery, she gained experience at some of Europe's elite wineries, such as Domaine Marquis D'Angerville in Burgundy, Domaine POC à POC in southern France and Weingut Künstler in the Rheingau. There she not only learned to appreciate the differences in winemaking between regions, but also got clearer vision for how she would like to run her own business.

Many of her vineyards are planted on stone terraces, as is traditional in the Kremstal. Christina is confident that outstanding sites produce great wines when they are cultivated lovingly, in harmony with nature.

Her focus is on the work in the cellar, where she seeks to give the Rieslings from distinguished sites in particular enough time to mature, allowing them to develop a rich complexity before reaching the market.

Weinbergterrassen im Kremstal

The winemaker is passionate about Kremstal. She loves the picturesque stone terraces along the Danube. The complex soil variations make the Krems Valley very multifaceted: from primordial rock and gneiss to slate and loess, sand and clay, the conditions are diverse. Christina uses her intuition, professional knowledge and empathy to transform the character traits of outstanding vineyards into expressive wines.

Christina is a role model for many young women: "Great wines come from skill, knowledge and empathy. You don't necessarily need broad shoulders to do that." she laughs. Her passion and enthusiasm for life is contagious and it can also be tasted in her wines.

Franziska Katterbauer
Franziska Katterbauer
Project Manager

With parents who were wine traders and restauranteurs, her love for wine began at an early age. However, Franziska took a different direction after graduating from high school, studying illustration and later advertising design. Wine+Partners offered the opportunity of reuniting these two passions. She is not only involved in the agency’s graphic design but jumps in to support numerous other projects.

About Weingut Wess

The Wess winery is run with passion by a young couple, Christina and David Juen-Wess. Christina is the daughter of founder Rainer Wess, who built up the winery from a small cellar with bought-in grapes to 15 ha of the best sites in Kremstal, Austria. Wess wines pay homage to the region – Christina emphasises the different characteristics of individual vineyards with sensitivity and know-how. They focus on Rieslings from those vineyards, which are cultivated with a back-to-nature approach, allowing the grapes time and space to develop.