7th June, 2013 by Rupert Millar
One of Bollinger’s winemakers, Mathieu Kauffmann, has moved to the German estate, Reichsrat von Buhl.
Kauffmann (above) has been cellar master at the famous Champagne estate for 12 years and will move to the equally prestigious Palatinate vineyard in time to work on this year’s vintage.
Incoming managing director at Reichsrat von Buhl, Marian Kopp, praised Kauffmann’s experience and his “outstanding achievements” with Bollinger.
Speaking to the drinks business, Kopp added that with the current von Buhl winemaker leaving and with the estate’s sparkling wine business growing, he needed someone with experience in both still and sparkling wine production.
He said: “I needed someone with an understanding of terroir wines, he previously worked at Salwey in Baden which is an estate very well known for Pinot Noir and he had the experience from Champagne.”
Kauffmann will be particularly involved in upping the quality of von Buhl’s sekt, a small but increasingly important part of the estate’s portfolio.
Kopp explained: “Germany is a huge sparkling wine market. Quite a few estates are launching and have been launching sparkling wines and von Buhl has been something of a leader that.
It’s a small share but it’s important and the question is, how can you drive the quality further?”
As for the uprooting a Frenchman to live in Germany, Kopp added: “Mathieu grew up in Alsace so he knows Riesling and he speaks German.
“It’s often said that Alsace is the most German part of France, our histories are so closely interlinked. We’re French here in the Palatinate and they’re German.
“Personally it was an important decision for him, he has three children and he’s relocating to here in Germany. It would have been more difficult if he were coming from Bordeaux but he knows the area.”