When I started producing wine under my own name and from my own grapes in 1984, I had an area of 0.4 hectares to cultivate - some plots of the parental winery, which was around 1.4 hectares in size. For me as a beginner it was a good, manageable size at first, but after a few years I realized: In the long run this is definitely not enough for me. At the beginning of the 90s, I therefore decided to gradually enlarge the new, small SYBILLE KUNTZ Weingut. I now had the necessary know-how, what I lacked was the necessary capital. So I did what you usually do in such a situation: I went to my house bank with a detailed concept.
“Dear Ms. Kuntz,” I heard there, “as you may know, we already own almost half the Moselle Valley today. Times are tough, you know that as well as we do, and even long-established, large wineries with centuries of tradition are not up to the new demands, they simply cannot keep up and give up. And now you come and calculate opportunities as a newcomer? In this business? We cannot finance such a risky company. It's best to keep your hands off it. We are sorry. We hope you understand that.”
I still haven't understood that, but the clear rejection from my bank was extremely sobering at the time, no question; however, the bank was unable to discourage me from my plan. After all, before I became a winegrower, I had studied business administration, so I was able to calculate and assess business risks. And my risk was calculable, I had no doubt about it. Only one thing was clear to me now: I had to take a different path in my project. A completely different one. And soon I knew which one.
Why shouldn't I try to interest those into my plans who have bought wine from me, some of them for years, who knew and appreciated my work and my products, who trusted and knew who they were dealing with. I started by carefully asking my customers if they could imagine supporting the young SYBILLE KUNTZ Weingut financially, for example by purchasing share certificates with interest in wine. Wine, I was sure, I would always have enough in stock, only money was a scarce commodity, that should flow into the expansion and operation of the company.
After countless conversations with customers and friends, with lawyers, tax advisors, wine connoisseurs and wine lovers, it turned out that this idea was not only good, it was above all practical. But only two grape harvests later was it so mature and finalized that I could actually go public with my concept. The first installment of the SYBILLE KUNTZ Genuss-Schein was launched on January 1, 1994.
I had known the first buyer personally for a long time: it was Dr. Kurt E. Becker, who gave me expert advice on how to proceed and always encouraged me. I was happy to comply with his request to reserve the number 1 certificate for him. He still owns it today. As expected, demand started slowly, after six months 5 and at the end of the year 9 profit-sharing certificates had been sold.
My idea got a considerable boost at the beginning of 1995: Around Christmas 1994, an article by Torsten Schubert, who had visited the winery in August, had appeared in the magazine IMPULSE (No. 1/95). In his report, Schubert also went into detail about this new, unusual investment option with natural interest on the Moselle. The readers were visibly and audibly enthusiastic about it, and many seemed to be tempted by the prospect of being able to participate in the construction of a winery and to accompany their fate in a much closer contact than usual.
Now the attractive aspect of my concept became apparent. At the beginning of the new year it became clear that I had come up with a really brilliant idea. All I had assumed and hoped for: Telephone and fax machines were not standing still. The personal encouragement and willingness to invest in excellent Riesling locations was overwhelming. Some prospective customers agreed to support them simply because they were very familiar with the difficulties involved in setting up a company and because they had similar experiences with banks as I did.
Above all, I was finally able to buy additional acreage - including some plots in very good locations with ancient own-rooted vines - and the resulting follow-up costs for employees, barrels, machines, etc. From the original one and a half hectares of my early years, I have now increased the acreage to 18 hectares. In order to manage this area efficiently, investments have to be made in the machinery in recent years, which must be able to cope with the special requirements of our steep slopes; we are up to date here today. Plans for the modernization of the wine cellar are well advanced.
But the acreage alone - even with the most excellent vines from grand cru sites - and the best technical aids do not guarantee a good wine. What is harvested in our vineyards has to be processed with profound knowledge, experience and the utmost care, so that one day, for example, one can write about it so enthusiastically like Jancis Robinson:
»BEERENAUSLESE (2011): Gosh, I'm not sure I have ever tasted a Beerenauslese that is this potent...? Bright copper colour. Exciting paprika nose. Very rich indeed. This, by the way, comes in a full 75cl bottle! Lovely balance of pronounced sweetness plus racy acidity and a touch of quinine kick. Not ready yet but a really exciting balance. Long. So vibrant! 13.5%«
- Jancis Robinson -
As of March 1, 2014, we have adjusted the profit-sharing certificates to the current economic conditions. With a minimum term of five years, investors can choose between three amounts and three interest rates: € 2500 at 6%, € 5000 at 6.5% and € 10,000 at 7%. With an investment amount of 5,000 euros, the owner is entitled to a liquid return of 325 euros a year - with free selection from the full range. And the special thing about it is that you can enjoy it wonderfully together with family or friends.
The SYBILLE KUNTZ Genuss-Schein have now fared like many other good ideas: They are being copied. Over the past few years, we have received hundreds of inquiries from a wide variety of industries, and our concept has now proven its worth at breweries, in the hotel industry, at flower shops, at restaurants, at chocolate manufacturers, even at mattress manufacturers and, of course, at a number of other wineries . I record this development as a confirmation of my idea, and I look forward to every further copycat.
My financing concept is still proving itself and continues to guarantee the economic stability of the SYBILLE KUNTZ Weingut. According to the agreement, some investors call up their deposits again after the experation date - either in cash or in wine - new ones are added; this fluctuation is part of the concept and has been manageable from the start. In 1998 a patent was granted for the SYBILLE KUNTZ Genuss-Schein.
On this occasion, I would like to take the opportunity here and now to thank all - former and current - holders of the Genuss-Schein, but also all other customers and friends of the SYBILLE KUNTZ Weingut and, last but not least, my employees for their commitment and trust. I guarantee that this will also continue in the future.