Katharina Staab Elected 69th German Wine Queen
To the raucous cheers from fans who had traveled to the event, Katharina Staab proudly accepted her new crown and congratulations from all quarters. The 27-year-old marketing manager had already demonstrated deep knowledge and commitment during the preliminary rounds, and proved just as adapt and eloquent in the thrilling finale. Her performance won the hearts of the nearly 800 spectators and the minds of the expert jury at the Saalbau in Neustadt an der Weinstraße. As the 69th German Wine Queen, she now holds a commission from the German Wine Institute (DWI) to spend a year fulfilling 200 appointments in Germany and abroad as an ambassador for German wine.
"Fantastic, everything's fantastic," the freshly appointed wine regent declared shortly after her election, at a rare loss for words. "It's so hard to wrap my mind around it," she declared in disbelief, tears welling in her eyes. She expressed tremendous anticipation of "many journeys to as many countries as possible to promote German wine worldwide."
At the gala election ball, which was broadcast live on SWR Fernsehen, Katharina Staab prevailed over five fellow aspirants, building on her successful appearance a week earlier that had earned her a spot in the finale. Over the course of multiple rounds of competition, the six young wine experts demonstrated their skills in wine sensorics, rhetoric and communications. Their first task: providing commentary on their own introductory clips and working through blind wine tastings. Next came a game-show style quiz that required them to guess the wine preferences and habits of random people off the street.
Princess or queen?
Once the jury whittled the selection down to three finalists, the big remaining question was who would wear which wine crown.
The contestants first needed to filter out as many wine terms as possible from a theater scene between Hagen and Gunther. Another challenge called for each of the three candidates to hold a one-minute talk about a personal photo.
Katharina Staab radiated a charm and natural calm that carried the day. The highest honor of German wine royalty will thus return to the Nahe, where Nadine Poss most recently wore it in 2013.
Charlotte Freiberger accepted the princess crown with "tremendous pride." "I'm simply thrilled about everything that lies ahead," the 26-year-old winemaker from Heppenheim declared.
Laura Lahm of Rheinhessen put a similarly happy accent on her selection as a German wine princess. "First I intend to raise a glass with my family," the 25-year-old enologist declared.