Tradition and innovation
Tomas Zisser, the soul of Eberlehof.
The Eberlehof farm is documented way back to 1312. What does running such a piece of history mean for you and your family?
It's a great honour, continuing the work of so many previous generations. Although behind the idyllic appearance, there’s a lot of work and commitment to preserving it, adapting it to the needs of the modern world, and preparing it for the next generation. Here, we produce 30,000 bottles a year from our own St. Magdalena, Lagrein and Blaterle vines.
What are your first memories of vineyard life?
Three hectares of vineyard surround the farm, which today is quite rare. There's work in the vineyard all year round, so life has always been spent among the vines. As a child, my parents used to put me in a wicker basket and take me with them, so my first memories are of playing there. Then, you start helping outand we did the same with our own children. I mean, what a perfect natural playground!
Has wine production and the market changed in recent decades?
The emphasis now is more quality, less quantity. Cellar techniques have evolved and today’s consumer is also better-informed and more demanding, so quality has become our focus. Younger people, in particular, are very interested in knowing what’s behind the wine - and this interest is growing.
Visitors must also be enchanted by the many and varied art works in the cellars.
My father, Horst, was passionate about art. He collected over time, from private individuals and local artists such as Peter Fellin and Robert Spiss, among others – and I’ve been lucky enough to know a few of them. So for me, seeing paintings and sculptures on display in the farm and wine cellars has always been normal. However, it’s something I’ve become passionate about too!