Young Winemaker of the Year 2020 awarded by the DLG


The DLG (German Agricultural Society) has announced the best Young Winemakers of the Year 2020. Numerous talented young winemakers from many winegrowing regions in Germany competed for the German wine industry award this year.


An expert jury selected three winners from the best candidates. David Spies from the Spies winery in Dittelsheim (Rheinhessen) was awarded the top prize. Julia Oswald from the Burghof Oswald winery in Guntersblum (Rheinhessen) was runner-up. Vera Keller from the Keller winery - Vera Keller Weine in Göcklingen (Pfalz) took third place.

Innovative ideas from the cellar & vineyard

The targeted support and promotion of young German winegrowers is a particular concern of the DLG. The young talents put their knowledge and skills to the test in three rounds of the competition. As part of the qualification round, specialist knowledge of oenology, sensory evaluation of wine, and international wine management is tested in both theory and practice. In the second round, the wine quality is assessed as part of the federal wine award. In the final round, the best participants answer questions from a jury made up of wine experts, lecturers and oenologists, to determine the winners.

The Young Winemakers of the Year 2020 in portrait:

David Spies, Weingut Spies, Young Winemaker of the Year, 1st place - Dittelsheim (Rheinhessen)

David Spies (born 1990) gained in-depth practical knowledge during his three-year vintner training at the Bassermann-Jordan winery in Deidesheim and the Rings winery in Freinsheim. He crowned his professional training in 2011 by winning the Europe-wide vocational skills competition. He then studied viticulture and oenology at Geisenheim University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. During this time, he gained further practical experience through internships at the Geil Erben winery in Bechtheim and at the Feiler-Artinger winery in Rust am See, Austria. David Spies has been the operations manager for his parents' winery in Dittelsheim since 2014. His focus is also on the viticulture and the presentation.

Julia Oswald, Young Winemaker of the Year, 2nd place - Burghof Oswald winery, Guntersblum (Rheinhessen)

Julia Oswald (born 1996) completed her studies at Geisenheim University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science and immediately afterwards began a Master’s Degree in Wine Management at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. During her studies, the committed young winemaker travelled abroad to the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and to the Poplar Grove Winery in Canada. At home in her parents' winery, she has been working as a winemaker since 2016 and also works as a student trainee for Erbslöh Geisenheim GmbH. Julia Oswald can look back on a well-founded professional training as a winemaker at the Wasem winery in Ingelheim, the Gaul winery in Grünstadt-Sausenheim and the Klumpp winery in Bruchsaal.

Vera Keller, Young Winemaker of the Year, 3rd place - Weingut Keller - Vera Keller Weine, Göcklingen (Pfalz)

Vera Keller (born 1994) has wanted to become a winemaker since she was little. Immediately after graduating from high school, she began to put this childhood dream into practice and began the dual study of viticulture and oenology in 2013 at Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, which she completed with top marks for her year. She gained further experience at the Ökonomierat Rebholz winery in Siebeldingen and the August Ziegler winery in Maikammer. As successor, Vera Keller will continue to run the family winery in the next generation. Viticulture and marketing are already her responsibility, as is plant protection in the vineyards.


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David Spies, Young Winemaker of the Year - Winner. Photo: DLG / Jörg Sänger

Julia Oswald, Young Winemaker of the Year - 2nd Place. Photo: DLG / Jörg Sänger

Vera Keller, Young Winemaker of the Year -3rd Place. Photo: DLG / Jörg Sänger