It wouldn’t be the whole story if we were to focus solely on our highlights. Like many businesses, we were also confronted with challenges in 2022. And yet, Dorli Muhr and Ute Watzlawick stood firm, navigating W+P confidently forwards, so we can now proudly look back on a year full of glowing success stories, new milestones achieved and bagging the event sector’s most notable award!
Worth listening to
I have been in the wine business for more than 20 years and have listened to numerous winemaking philosophies over the years. Few have touched me as much as Birgit Braunstein from Purbach on Lake Neusiedl. She is considered a pioneer of organic viticulture. Behind this is her attitude to life, her profound harmony with nature. Birgit practically overflows with knowledge about its connections, thinking and always acts holistically. Her enthusiasm is contagious.
I truly believe if more people lived like Birgit, the world would be a better place.
Change of perspective
"One does not exclude the other", is a world view I can stand behind because adopting it makes anything seem possible. The world is painted in more vibrant colours and life becomes far more exciting. When winemaker Reinhard Muster from the southern Styrian winery Muster.Gamlitz declares – somewhat provocatively – that while terroir is all well and good, in the end it's the weather that makes the wine, he's preaching to the choir.
At the end of this year, he launched his new wine series Illyr and opened many such doors. The story of the personable winemaker-pilot is one worth sharing. →See for yourself.
My vintner lighthouse
Every year I am inspired when I leave the plenary meeting of the Rubin Carnuntum wineries. Thirty-seven winegrowers, from small Heurigen operators to international exporters, all with different needs and interests, meet to jointly set their course for the future. Many points are discussed and debated. Sometimes there are even arguments. But the impressive thing is that in the end, every year, the Rubin Carnuntum wineries always agree on a common path to travel along together. In a polarised world, Carnuntum is a beacon for me. Even if it is not always easy: together is the best way!
Three cheers for diversity
Life is not black and white, and that's a good thing! When you look back on the year, you notice things you might have done differently – but hey: no regrets! Concentrate instead on the positive and colourful.
Since I have joined the great team of Wine+Partners, I have already had several exciting encounters – such as the winery of Doktor Wunderer. When a doctor makes his dream come true and develops around 10 hectares of vineyards into a sustainable wine project together with his partner, it is not only courageous but truly extraordinary. Because the two not only bottle the unique character of the Weinviertel region, but also share the most delicious life partnership in the world as well. With the Pride Cuvée, the Doktor Wunderer winery celebrates love and diversity.
Thinking in colour is good for you!
2022 was a very special year for me. The first full calendar year in which I was able to support our clients with their digital strategies and implement a content strategy across all Wine+Partners' digital channels together with my online team. One of my highlights was our new website! A massive undertaking that required many add-ons such as an event calendar, event planning tool and a login area for press, gourmets and winemakers. One thing is already certain: next year will definitely be next level.
The year of comebacks
We look back on a year full of changes, new challenges, joyful reunions and – thank heavens – several borders crossed. How could we limit ourselves to one highlight alone? This year's moments of pride and joy are virtually piling up. From fascinating behind-the-scenes insights into the life of Marc Almert (Best Sommelier of the World 2019), the euphoric comeback of the Weinachtel (where we celebrated a whole 31 years of Wine+Partners) and the largest Single Vineyard Summit in history to the wonderful beer tastings with the CulturBrauer and countless moments of pleasure at Eisenberg. Whether in our team or among our clients: the passion is mind-blowing and incredibly invigorating. And I am immensely grateful this year to have been in the midst of it all!
Every day an adventure
For me, 2022 has been a fantastic year! I have been part of the great team at Wine+Partners since February. One of my highlights was the incredible events with the CulturBrauer that I was able to oversee. I am already excited about what 2023 will bring and look forward to another year with my wonderful colleagues and clients.
Standing up for independence
More than a year ago, Austria's independent private breweries declared war on international corporate beer. Digital communication in 2022 was characterised by individuality, regionality, sustainability and Austrian brewing culture. My highlight this year, apart from the great response from beer lovers, was being able to work with 38 passionate and motivated entrepreneurs to set such an important example for the future, especially for my generation and the many generations to come.
Sharing pure bliss
Working at Wine+Partners not only means looking after the most exciting wine and gourmet projects in the business, but also telling and celebrating success stories. This year, I was able to celebrate several blissful highlights with Bérénice Schwaiger from Aux Bulles – the French woman who teaches Austrians how to enjoy champagne first hand. And the wonderful online press conference of the Douro Boys, who reported about the 2022 harvest, live from their breathtakingly beautiful vineyards in the Douro Valley. That moment will always and forever remain in my memory.
"Reach for the stars"
I've always enjoyed working with the best, as my media experience from Hong Kong to New Zealand shows. The best people and the best quality products, no matter where you are in the world. You have to reach for the stars to get there. It was this incentive that prompted me to join Wine+Partners. I'm looking forward to being part of such a fantastic agency to expand their world-class offering and help their clients in the gourmet lifestyle sector reach those stars.
A delicious start
I've been with Wine+Partners for four months. The team made me feel welcome from the very beginning. Right at the start, I was able to work in Frauenkirchen at the second Koch.Campus of the year, an experience that was the best initial insight into the work of Wine+Partners and what makes good PR. Sure, it was a challenge to jump straight in, but it was the best start I could have asked for. I am excited to see what the next year has in store for me here at Wine+Partners.
Moments of success all digital
I've been supporting the online team since July, and since then there has been a dizzying array of personal successes. One of them is undoubtedly my arrival itself, in this lovely, positive and tremendously dynamic agency, where I was immediately welcomed with a lot of support. I celebrate the creativity in action here in this team. Planning and shooting Instagram reels for CulturBrauer and the Dorli Muhr winery have been among my favorite tasks, as well as designing and setting up campaigns for Wines of Alentejo.
Single Vineyard Summit
Recognising transformation as an opportunity is a quality that I was able to experience first-hand at the annual preview tasting of Austria's traditional wineries at Schloss Grafenegg in early September 2022. United under the motto "Together we are strong", the Eisenberg & Leithaberg regions, and for the first time, Vinea Wachau and Thermenregion, took the stage together. For me, this event was proof of how invigorating new situations and challenges can ultimately have an effect on an industry with thousands of years of tradition.
I had barely joined the team when I was given the opportunity to work on one of the most elegant events of the year. At the start of December, we traveled all the way to the west of Austria to open the Arlberg Weinberg festival. The annual series of events marks the winter season opening of Lech-Zürs – one of the most beautiful places on earth. Here, the greats of the Austrian and international wine and gourmet world gather to offer some 30 events and tastings for sommeliers and wine lovers. For me, it was a great opportunity to meet fantastic winemakers and journalists. I am looking forward to new challenges and a dynamic 2023 with Wine+Partners.
The view from the other side
Since I started in summer, I have been able to dive deeper each day into the wonderful world of wine & gourmet food. As a financial controller who does not work on the front line, I find it particularly exciting to gain insights into the world of our clients. The passion and enthusiasm with which people work on projects here every day is intoxicating and contagious. I am pleased to be able to deliver my first comprehensive year-end report and look forward with great confidence to a new year in the universe of excellent taste.
Writing on joy
My personal highlight of the year is that after many experiences and activities I have now arrived in a large family of gourmets and from now on I can live out my passion for writing about the most beautiful topics in the world. What a gift!
32 years ahead
On March 13, 2020, I had a brief moment of shock, but faith in the future won out and helped me to work for almost three years after that with a great deal of energy and virtually no break. When the most difficult time was over, we still had a lot of staff changes to cope with. That was only possible with unswerving discipline and full concentration. When I look back on the last few months, I ask myself: How on earth did we manage all that?! Despite all the adversity, we pulled off wonderful successes for our clients, priceless media coverage for great projects, sensational events and radiant digital concepts. Simultaneously we retrained 60% of the team and brought in the best financial result in 32 years. I am insanely proud of the women on our team, who are so dedicated and tough. I learn from them every day. And I am very proud of our customers, whose businesses and products are among the very best. And that's why they deserve the very best communication!
Our motto is that we want to make the world a little better with our work. Hence, there is still plenty to do for the next 32 years!