The Proust Q&A: Peter Sisseck

Sandy-haired Dane Peter Sisseck is the owner of Dominio de Pingus in the village of La Hora in Ribera del Duero, which produces Spain’s most expensive wine – Pingus. The inaugural vintage of the wine – 1995 – received a 96-100 point score from Robert Parker, sealing its fate. Less than 700 cases of Pingus are made each year with the wine selling for up to £500 a bottle. Sisseck lives in Ribera del Duero. He is currently experimenting with making a version of Pingus with zero sulphur.

Peter Sisseck. Credit: Per Morten Abrahamsen

Making a splash – Peter Sisseck. Credit: Per Morten Abrahamsen

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
When you feel you are doing what you are meant to do. The absence of pain.

What is your greatest fear?
Not to have done all I could.

Who do you most admire?
Right now I think Pope Benedict XVI, I hope his courage to step down can lead the way for change.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I don’t like extravagance.

What is your current state of mind?
Sadness and confusion over man’s stupid ways.

What is the quality you most like in a person?
Courage and honesty.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
You know what I mean…

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Creation.

When and where were you happiest?
Right here, right now.

Which talent would you most like to have?
To draw or play the piano really well.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To be more patient and forgiving.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
So far I haven’t achieved anything.

Where would you most like to live?
I would like to live were I live right now on my farm overlooking the Duero Valley.

What is your most treasured possession?
My books.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Stubborness.

Who are your favourite writers?
I would have to say Goethe, not just his books but his life too.

Who is your hero of fiction?
Homer Simpson.

What is it that you most dislike?
Corruption in all its forms, and arrogance combined with lack of intelligence.

What is your greatest regret?
If I had been more patient, I could have learned to play the piano really well.

What is your motto?
Sleep on it.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what wines would you serve them?
I’d serve Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Auslese 1971, Château Lafite 1959, Romanée-Conti 1937 and Château Yquem 1921. The guests would all be great wine drinkers: Goethe, Churchill, Sybill Bedford, Isak Dinesen and Orson Wells.

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