When the German Wine Institute (DWI) organized the first wine presentation under the title “Generation Riesling”, with a group of 25 young German winegrowers on June 8, 2006 in the Imagination Gallery in London, no one suspected that this would be the birth of what has become the largest young winegrowers’ association in the world, with currently around 530 members.
DWI managing director Monika Reule looks back with pride on the success story of Generation Riesling. “The original goal of modernizing the outdated image of German wines in Great Britain through a younger generation of winemakers has turned into a whole movement. It has definitely contributed greatly to the fact that German wines have again been perceived in a far more contemporary and positive way in the past few years both at home and abroad,” said Reule. As the head of the DWI further stresses, the young winemakers also address consumers of the same age “on an equal footing”, which has contributed to making wine a lifestyle drink, especially here in Germany.
Right from the start, the name of the initiative placed Riesling in the foreground as it is the leading German grape variety. Since then, however, it remains as an eye-catching name to represent all local grape varieties.
In GR’s 15 years, over 300 members have had to leave the community because they passed the age limit of 35 years. For many of them, membership of Generation Riesling was a crucial stepping stone in their careers. Thanks to the nationwide and international platform that the DWI offers young producers through this initiative, the young winemakers can make valuable contacts and promote themselves and their wines. As a winemaker from Württemberg remarked when leaving the community, “Through my participation in Generation Riesling events, strong business relationships have developed that I wouldn’t want to be without today,”
The DWI puts the Generation Riesling producers or their wines in the limelight in very diverse ways, from presentations with up to 30 members at some of its own trade fairs and events in German and international metropolises, through to appearances at street food festivals. Under the motto “Music for the Tongue”, the DWI has been making more intensive contacts into the music scene for a number of years, with increasing success.
In addition, the DWI has launched its own social media channels as well as the generation-riesling.de website, which are enjoying a growing fan base.
Milestones of Generation Riesling:
2006 First table presentation in London
2008 First presentation abroad at the “Wine Tokyo” trade fair in Japan
2009 www.generation-riesling.de goes online
2011 First table presentation in Germany at the Grand Hyatt in Berlin
2014 First joint stand at the international ProWein trade fair in Düsseldorf
2015 Generation Riesling presentation at the Fashion Week in Berlin
2016 Generation Riesling welcomes its 500th member
2016 Music festival premiere of Generation Riesling wines at the Juicy Beats Festival in Dortmund
2017 First joint stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair
2018 First Generation Riesling Wine & Bike tours through picnic sites in parks
2019 First cooperation with Rolling Stone magazine and musicians like Fanta 4