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A Barrel Full of New Experiences
My motto is to be open to new things, to try everything at least once and to never stop learning. When it was time for me to look for a practical internship as part of my studies, I didn't want to work at another winegrowing estate like everyone else. I wanted to see something completely different. And that's how I landed with Herr Suppiger, a cooper (barrel maker) in Switzerland. It ended up being the best summer of my life. For four months I learned all about wood and how it is processed, and more generally how a cooperage works. You can't imagine just how difficult it is to build a barrel by hand!
The goal of the internship was to produce four barrels of my own. After several smell and taste tests, I ultimately decided on barrique made of acacia, larch and chestnut. I also produced an oaken barrel as a point of comparison. As I formed the barrels, I began wondering just how much the different woods influence the wine inside. I ended up performing experiments, and the results were absolutely astounding and ended up catching the interest of many friends and customers — well beyond the borders of Rheinhessen.
Beyond a variety of great experiences, that internship also forged a strong and enduring friendship with the cooper himself. True to my motto: trying out new things is definitely worth your while!