Award winners Meininger Award (f.l.t.r.): Philipp Schladerer, José Luis Muguiro Aznar, Volker Raumland, Peter Riegel, Andrea Meininger, Thomas Matthews (representative for Marvin R. Shanken), the Perrin family. ©Sascha Kreklau
Volker Raumland is Wine Entrepreneur of the Year
Düsseldorf, 17 March 2018. This year, too, saw the presentation of international wine awards one day ahead of ProWein in Düsseldorf. The winners are Volker Raumland, Peter Riegel, Marvin R. Shanken, José Luis Muguiro Aznar, the Perrin family, and Philipp Schladerer.
Before an audience of around 600 guests, six prominent representatives of the international wine business accepted their awards during the 14th Meininger Award Excellence in wine & spirit in Düsseldorf. The title of National Wine Entrepreneur of the Year went to Volker Raumland, a pioneer of the new German sparkling wine scene. Volker Riegel was presented with the Meininger Outstanding Achievement Award. He brought organic wines to Germany and remains the country’s leading retailer in this segment. International Wine Entrepreneur of the Year is José Luis Muguiro Aznar of the Spanish winery Marqués de Riscal. Under his leadership, Riscal has ascended to become one of Spain’s most significant wine producers. The Perrin wine dynasty from the southern Rhône Valley, currently in the hands of the family’s fifth generation, was awarded the title Wine Family of the Year. The Lifetime Achievement award went to the American publisher Marvin R. Shanken, editor of Wine Spectator, the world’s largest wine industry journal. Finally, Philipp Schladerer was honoured with the title of Spirit Entrepreneur of the Year.
National Wine Entrepreneur of the Year: Volker Raumland, Sekthaus Raumland
Volker Raumland is a pioneering force on the German sparkling wine market. He is a master of traditional bottle fermentation and was instrumental in giving German sparkling wine a fresh reputation. Germany’s most renowned sparkling wine producer manages 10 hectares of vineyard, with sparkling wine his only product. Raumland products have garnered countless awards over the years. In fact, in blind tastings they are often mistaken for champagne. Volker Raumland also processes grapes from prominent vineyards such as Rainer Schnaitmann, Dr. Wehrheim, Rebholz or Philipp Kuhn.
Meininger Outstanding Achievement Award: Peter Riegel, Peter Riegel Weinimport
Peter Riegel is adept at turning his visions and ideas into reality. In the early 1980s Riegel, a trader in wool, tea and medicinal herbs, added organic wines from France to his portfolio. His firm conviction that organic wines were the way to go put him firmly in a niche market; the conventional wine scene failed to take him seriously. “We believed in something that no one else believed in at the time,” said Peter Riegel in his acceptance speech. In the late 1980s he founded a wholesale business exclusively for organic wines, which subsequently underwent an impressive expansion. Today, Peter Riegel is Germany’s largest organic wine retailer, employing 76 staff and selling around 14 million bottles a year.
International Wine Entrepreneur of the Year: José Luis Muguiro Aznar, Marqués de Riscal
Established in 1858, Marqués de Riscal is the oldest bodega in Spain’s Rioja wine-growing region and has been instrumental in turning the region and its wines into some of the best in the world. One of the driving forces behind the business’s more recent successes is José Luis Muguiro Aznar, the CEO of Bodega Marqués de Riscal. Among many other achievements, he set new standards for wine tourism in Spain. The winery is also the most futuristic in the country: Frank O. Gehry, the Canadian-born American star architect who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao just 120 km away, designed the company’s Ciudad del Vino, or City of Wine, which opened its doors in 2006. The 100,000 square metre attraction rapidly became a new architectural landmark in Rioja. Today, the wines from this bodega, an official supplier to the Spanish Royal Court, are exported to 110 countries around the world.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator
Marvin Shanken is the editor of the US trade publication Wine Spectator. The far-sighted entrepreneur acquired what is today’s highest-circulation wine publication in the world in 1979, initially focusing exclusively on Californian products. The decision to start covering wines from around the world marked the beginning of Wine Spectator’s success story, which then had around a thousand subscribers. Marvin Shanken anticipated the rapid development of wine culture in the United States and assigned Wine Spectator a leading role in the process. In the early 1980s he began to organise major-scale wine tastings, which drew wine enthusiasts from all over the world who came to meet top winemakers and sample outstanding wines. Around 1993, Wine Spectator’s circulation had already advanced to 120,000. Today, with a circulation of 400,000, the magazine is sold and read around the world, with a major programme of events complementing its print content. In 1982 Marvin Shanken founded the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation, which has so far contributed around 20 million US dollars to research projects in the US wine industry. To date, the Foundation has provided more than 400 scholarships to students completing wine studies degrees.
Wine Family of the Year: Perrin Family, Château de Beaucastel
The fifth generation of the Perrin family manages four vineyards and two wineries in the southern Rhône Valley and in neighbouring Provence, with the aim to make all of its wines among the best in the region. The family’s main seat is Château de Beaucastel, where the Perrin flagship product is made – the world-famous Châteauneuf du Pape. In 1974 the Perrin family switched to biodynamic production, pledging never to compromise the character and the natural features of a wine by modern technology. The group has a particularly strong footprint in the United States, where the business is managed by Marc Perrin. In 2012 Marc teamed up with actor Brad Pitt to develop the Miraval project in Provence. Today, the Miraval estate produces rosé wines that would be Provence wine superstars even without the backing of Academy Award winner Pitt. The family business is currently managed by Jean-Pierre and François Perrin, with support from the fifth generation of Perrins, namely Marc, Pierre, Thomas, Cécile, Charles, Matthieu and César.
Spirit Entrepreneur of the Year: Philipp Schladerer, Alfred Schladerer Alte Schwarzwälder Hausbrennerei
Philipp Schladerer represents the sixth generation to manage a history that stretches back over 170 years, successfully uniting tradition with modernity. Schladerer, today a prominent brand, is now served in the trendiest and most popular bars. Philipp maintains the core expertise of Schladerer – the development and production of high-quality spirits – while reaching out to both a new generation of spirit enthusiasts as well as more traditionally minded consumers. Schladerer’s products range from unusual, high-quality creations such as lighter, trendy liqueurs to one-of-a-kind rarities.
About the Meininger Award
The Meininger Award was first presented 14 years ago at the first ProWein trade fair Düsseldorf. It is given in recognition of outstanding achievements by representatives of the German and international wine scene. Previous award-winners include Gina Gallo, Miguel A. Torres, Fritz Keller, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Angelo Gaia and Margrit Biever-Mondavi. The initiator is Meininger Verlag, publisher of a large number of wine journals.
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