NEWS"Side by side in the vineyard" - Sommelier Union Germany takes positive...

“Side by side in the vineyard” – Sommelier Union Germany takes positive stock

Some get support, others learn. The “Side by Side in the Vineyard” action alliance between winemakers and sommeliers is, of course, also one of the bright spots of the past year. The Sommelier Union with its president Peer F. Holm has also used the Corona crisis to install more than 40 sommeliers in vineyards, cellars and in sales, as supporters of winemakers. This initiative has resulted in interesting wine projects that have strengthened both professions in the pandemic so far.


GERMANY (Cologne) – Just over a year ago, the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates and the Sommelier Union Germany launched an action alliance. Under the motto “Side by side in the vineyard”, sommeliers helped out in wineries during the various lockdown phases. In total, over 40 sommeliers worked in more than 20 wineries. In the vineyard, in the cellar, in sales. This cooperation has even resulted in the VDP.Weingut Heitlinger’s own wine. From the total proceeds, the winery is donating EUR 1,000 to the Sommelier College – the association’s support program.

“Of course, the past 15 months have been tough for our industry, but we have always tried to make the best of it. I think that’s what makes us so strong as restaurateurs and sommeliers,” says Peer F. Holm, president of the Sommelier Union Germany. “Our everyday job in restaurants is characterized by flexibility – every guest is different and rightly expects an individual approach. That requires a certain adaptability. And precisely this resilience is, in my view, the most important attribute for dealing positively with crises.” Delivery services, dinner boxes, surprise wine packages, and numerous online wine tastings are evidence of the creative energy released last year.

The action alliance: “Side by side in the vineyard”

“The action alliance between winemakers and sommeliers is of course also one of the bright spots of the past year. The initiative not only strengthened mutual understanding, it also created friendships and wine projects.” During their time at the Heitlinger winery, for example, the four sommeliers Adrian Imm, Marco Feger, Christoph Gerischer and Thorsten Brück developed the idea of jointly creating a cuvée from the four grape varieties Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Auxerrois and Pinot Blanc. The base wines come from “Great Sites” of the winery. Christoph Gerischer is currently active in the winery for the second time. He is already working with his colleagues and winemaker Claus Burmeister on the new edition of the “Together: Side by Side in the Vineyard” cuvée. Until this goes on sale, a few bottles of the current vintage are still available in the web store.

Of the total proceeds to date, the Heitlinger Winery has donated EUR 1,000 to the Sommelier College. Master Sommelier Frank Kämmer oversees this three-year support program for exceptionally talented and passionate young sommeliers. To this end, Kämmer establishes contacts with international experts who, as lecturers at the college, primarily impart practical knowledge. But theory is not neglected either.

Sommelier Union Deutschland e.V.
Donation check handover between (left) Claus Burmeister and (right) Peer F. Holm. (Photo: Sommelier Union Deutschland e.V.)

Over the Sommelier union Germany registered association

The Sommelier union Germany registered association is the prominent professional association of the Sommeliers and a closely linked network of professionals and new generation forces from catering trade, hotel trade as well as the wine specialized trade. The association represents the German sommeliers on an international level in the world association of sommeliers, the A.S.I.. Since its founding in 1976, the Sommelier Union has provided wine experts with a platform for information, exchange of experience and continuing education for professionals. The association is independent and as a community of interests solely committed to the cause. 

Sommelier and consultant Peer F. Holm has been president of the organization since May 2017. He works with his team to promote the multifaceted sommelier profession to the outside world and to encourage young talent.

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