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Making history with every dig of the shovel

The shovel is pressed down with full force and precision. The well-worn shoes of winegrower Erich Berger are covered with dirt that shatters from the ground after each shovelful. It is hard work that he has done many times before, but it is worth it.

   - The work that makes me sweat most is when we plant new vine stocks at the vineyard. First, we have to remove all the old vine stocks from the ground and make room for the new. A vine stock can be more than 55 years old when we dig it up, and you can imagine how much it has grown and how big it is when it comes out of the ground with all of its roots. There is hard work behind every drop of wine.

   The Winery Weingut Berger is located in, Austrian Gedersdorf , is 20 hectares in size. It has been in the Berger family’s possession since 1711. Winegrower Erich Berger is 46 years old and has lived here all his life - this is his universe. He grew up next to the vineyards of the green hills, the terrace over the vineyard and the small roads that cross the symmetrical rows of trees. It is an idyllic setting and here 200 000 litres of wine is produced every year.

   - My hands are my most important tools. Most days I am out in the vineyard and examines the leaves and the grapes. I remove those that are bruised and clear space when needed. It requires patience and accuracy.

   - We harvest in October and it is all about the right timing. There are seven people working here year round, and when it is time for harvest there are ten more of us. However, it is a tough job, especially when the weather is bad. Then we have to stop all work and wait for the rain and storm to pass. When the sun shines, we work quickly and methodically. To get the right taste and quality of wine we await for the exact moment, when the grapes are the perfect ripeness.

Facts

Name: Erich Berger.
Age: 46.
City: Gedersdorf, Austria.
Employer: Weingut Berger.
Occupation: Winegrower.