Black metal musician Sigurd Wongraven about Wines of Germany
Sigurd Wongraven Morgenstern Riesling is a top seller in Norway. Wines of Germany HQ spoke with Sigurd about his hobby that turned into a wine production company – "Wongraven Wines". Nowadays, he not only offers his wine to fans, but also to the Norwegian non-metal listeners...
We asked Sigurd Wongraven:
What was your first „Wines of Germany“-encounter?
Within the scope of the last 130 years, German wines have gone from word leading quality (late 1800’s, early 1900’s) to complete disaster (the 1980’s) and back to the top (this millenium). I had the unfortunate encounters of the heavily sweetened wines made from unripe grapes in my youth, to the phenomenal and diverse style of Riesling in recent years. It has been a great journey to follow and now be a part of as a producer of wine.
How come that you got hooked to German wines?
I would rather say I have an affinity for the Riesling grape and it is limitless versatility and as we all know, it thrives all over Germany in so many different styles.
Are or were social media activities an important factor in building your brand „Wongraven Wines“?
For me the main focus is spreading knowledge. I do that through the blends that I make in Pfalz, Piedmont and Champagne. I hold quite a few wine lectures for large audiences and I speak a lot to the media about what I do, how I do it and why. For me Instagram is more a channel where people can get a closer look behind the scenes and I intend to be informative. I don’t find "campaigning" on social media trustworthy or useful, so I don’t do it.
What was your biggest wine related social media project so far?
The followers of Wongraven Wines are presumably the result of my will to offer insight into what I do and how I think. I think that should be anyones project: Offer insight and share your passion and knowledge!
Is it possible to draw a parallel between the black metal scene and the wine world / wine makers?
Yes of course. The main reason I can make good blends is the experience, intuition and confidence I have when I work. I know what I want, what it requires from me and I have vast experience in trusting the process. That is how music is made and wine is no different, I have learned. You must have a vision and commit to it.
Germany’s winemakers are...
like Germans in the music industry. They come with all the strengths and weaknesses of being German! I am very used to working with Germans in both music and wine and get along well with them.
...and still got more potential when it comes to...
Pinot Noir! It is crucial that winemakers in Germany learn how to trust that Pinot at its very best is refined, transparent, crispy and perhaps nervous as some say. It should not be pushing to be a Cabernet. In short; use far less new oak, don’t fine, don’t filter, don’t use cultivated yeast, use a sorting table and all the things have proven itself to work in Burgundy, which also has a continental climate. The last move would be a try and understand the palate of an international Pinot community, not the approach of old school German wine lovers who have a completely dated and narrow understanding of what constitutes quality in a red wine. It does not have to be full body and it can certainly be acidic. There will be fantastic Pinot from Germany in the future and I hope to be a part of it on the production side.
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