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The German Wine Queen – An Ambassador for German Wine

03/27/2018

For more than 60 years, the German Wine Institute/Mainz and the German wine queen, flanked by two German wine princesses, have been a successful team. The first German wine queen was elected in 1949. Since then, the election process has been as follows: every autumn, the wine queens of each of Germany’s 13 wine-growing regions compete for the national title before an 70-member jury of professionals from the wine industry, politics, and the press.


The jury poses questions on complex issues related to wine; the candidates are challenged to respond competently, clearly, and concisely – and to do so with the confidence and charm expected of an ambassador for German wine.

The current, 69th German wine queen is Katharina Staab from the Nahe region. She is supported by the German wine princesses Laura Lahm from Rheinhessen and Charlotte Freiberger from Hessische Bergstraße.

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The public perceives German wine queens as professional young women who are dedicated to German wine and capable of competently dealing with nearly every subject related to wine. The wine queens themselves view their position as ambassadors on behalf of German wine, as representatives of a wine culture that is rich in tradition, yet thoroughly contemporary. Their role is not that of a salesperson, but rather that of a communicator, who is able to provide the public with information about the world of wine - from the vine to the glass, as well as address issues, such as the criteria for wine quality or the pros and cons of wine pleasure, to name but a few.

Election guidelines stipulate that all candidates must be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to German wine. This could stem from wine-related professional training, family heritage or ties to local viticulture. This is to ensure that incumbents have the professional knowledge and understanding required for the job. Yet, the term of every German wine queen is unique in that it is marked by the distinctive personality with which she fulfills her official duties.

The German Wine Institute coordinates the schedule of these young female professionals at home and abroad. The German wine queen, for example, is “on the road” some 250 days of her year in office; the German wine princesses are no less active in their many public appearances on behalf of German wine. Monika Reule, managing director of the wine institute emphasizes: “We take the office of the German wine queen and princesses seriously. As ambassadors of German wine, they are sent around the world for all kinds of events, and they must be capable of making a perfect appearance on the international stage.”

A year as German wine queen means personal sacrifice on many fronts; enduring separation from family and friends, putting hobbies on hold, and even taking a time-out in the midst of professional training and/or a career. Only those who are willing to accept these terms “in the name of German wine,” and who are willing to tirelessly and enthusiastically share their fascination for German wine – each and every day for a year – can make the grade.

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