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Business Heroes of the Beverage Industry - Part 3

Business heroes - The new series about BrauBeviale exhibitors with the necessary courage to be different. Part 3: Dr. Martin Tesch from the Tesch Winery.

A business degree or a doctorate in marketing are nice at best. But you can't learn what makes a really good entrepreneur. First and foremost, you need the courage to make uncomfortable decisions. We introduce four such business heroes. Dr. Martin Tesch from the Tesch Winery in Langenlonsheim is one of them. As a doctor of biochemistry, he took over the 300-year-old winery and first lost almost half of the regular customers because he radically changed both the product and the marketing. Uncompromising instead of sweet, English names for German wines - years later, this paid off.

Away with the wine vocabulary

"I left home when I was 15, so I wasn't socialized in the wine environment. So when it is sometimes said that I broke the rules of the wine industry, it's not true: I simply didn't know them. The big bang was Riesling Unplugged. Basically an old story, an unadulterated varietal, super dry Riesling - just told differently for a new generation of wine drinkers who can't do anything with cumbersome wine language à la 'Riesling Kabinett, trocken, Langenlonsheimer St. Antoniusweg'. That's why we wrote 'Unplugged' on it. Because it says it all: handmade, not loud, no tricks and no technology.

Our image was in tatters. And the German wine scene laughed tears at us, like when someone slips on a banana peel.

The first response of the traditional German wine drinkers was brutal: English word on the label of a German wine? That's when the tree burned. 'No more drops of Tesch wine will run through my German throat' and stuff like that. I lost 40 percent of my regular clientele in six months. After that we were in bankruptcy drag. Our image was in the toilet. And the German wine scene laughed tears about us, like when someone slips on a banana peel.

There was no way back. But: After two and a half years, we recovered from the blow. We weren't any further ahead than we were at the beginning, but we were back. From then on, things went up. In the meantime, we are as successful internationally as the old winery could never have been.


More business heroes:

Part 1 of the series: Benedikt Kuhn from Bembel-With-Care

Part 2 of the series: Stephan Michel of Mahrs Bräu

Part 4 of the series: Dr. Erlfried Baatz from Schilkin GmbH and Co. KG

Redaktionsmitglied Sabine Ziener
Sabine Ziener
Online Editorial // Public Relations Manager
All articles of author

Image credits:

  • istockphoto / RichVintage