Lena Endesfelder (Weingut Endesfelder): Wine Queen
Lena Endesfelder, winemaker at Weingut Endesfelder in Mehring, near Luxembourg, describes how her title of German Wine Queen 2016/2017 has helped her to share her hands-on knowledge of wine-making all over the world. Interview.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up on a traditional family winery where I lived with my parents and my sister. We had to help our parents with their work from an early age and there were definitely times when we would have liked to do other things with our friends. We learned how to work but our parents always ensured we had spare time and the freedom to grow up. Later on, I was free to choose my career too. However, when writing a virtual CV at the young age of 13, I wrote that I wanted to become a winemaker. When my father died in an accident, I was sure I’d made the right decision. After leaving secondary school, I started my studies in oenology at a college in Geisenheim. I’ve been responsible for the wine-growing and wine-producing processes in our winery since 2011. And luckily for me, I’ve never had any regrets!
«Nowadays winegrowers are more open-minded, particularly in comparison with the past when mutual support was uncommon.»
How has your German Wine Queen title affected your life and your business?
During my year as German Wine Queen, I visited many countries and met a lot of people. We all shared a passion for wine, which I’ve always found fascinating. I had to deal with cultural difficulties too, such as finding the right bus from the airport to my hotel in Tokyo, without being able to read any signs. I learned public speaking and how to present wines to large audiences; it’s a skill which still comes in handy today. I’m now more relaxed when hosting wine-tasting sessions and giving presentations and I’m focused on giving customers memorable experiences which combine fantastic wines and sociable situations.
How are wine producers working together in Germany to produce and sell their wines?
Nowadays winegrowers are more open-minded, particularly in comparison with the past when mutual support was uncommon. Today, collaboration takes different forms. For example, I am part of the 'Jungwinzer' (young winegrowers) and, together with the other winegrowers, we organise stalls at different events and travel to other wine-growing regions and sometimes even to other wine-growing countries. We enjoy a real spirit of openness when we visit other regions: winegrowers present their cultivation methods and techniques to us. In the spring, we taste our new wines and share our experiences. This helps us to learn from each other and makes sure that we don’t repeat anyone else’s mistakes. All in all, the world of wine-growing and wine production is defined by professional and friendly communication between winegrowers – there’s no jealousy!