One thing is for sure: the South Styrian offspring will bring new esprit to the region! The young generation’s cosmopolitanism has a direct effect on the complexity and variety of the new wines. By the way, since 2015 skilled workers for orcharding and fruit processing have been trained here as well. Thereby it is near and dear to the head of Fachschule Silberberg that not only competent wine experts are brought forth but also to shape personalities who withstand the responsibility of daily life. This is why special importance is attached to a profound general education. Hence there will also be challenges that have to be mastered in the future.
Climate change and the related shifting seasons will be a huge issue for the future generations of the region. The best example is the late frost in June 2016. With a crop failure of over 70%, a problem arised concerning South Styrian wine specialities such as Steirischer Junker. It could only be bottled in very small quantities in 2016. With changes in the cultivation technique, countermeasures are already taken. This is why in 2009 already, at Silberberg the first vineyard was protected with a hail net system, a technique that prevailed in the meanwhile. The management of planting is also adapted to the new conditions and a changing of the foliage work helps shade the grapes better. This way the future wine growers are well positioned for such coming situations.
Some students talked about wishes, dreams and future challenges with us. For Antonia Skoff, granddaughter of top wine grower Peter Skoff, one of the biggest challenges is maintaining the superb quality of the family’s well-known wines and to be eventually able to increase it. The ambitious young wine grower is quite willing to gather professional experience abroad. She regards it as one of the biggest challenges to establish herself professionally after school. Matthias Strauss comes from a wine-growing family as well and has wished to become a wine grower since he was a small child. His credo: „Bringing the best quality possible into the bottle every year!“ Thereby his greatest concern is the future weather development. Kilian Schlager has other priorities for his future, he wishes to work in his dream job, but having a wife and two children is also very important for him.
Elias Koch comes from a wine-growing family as well, but he has a slightly different approach to this profession. He imagines becoming a sideline wine grower, his actual dream job is train driver. For his personal future, it is important to him to reconcile both professions and to take over his parents‘ business. „In the future, it will be important to find a good balance between vineyard, cellar and marketing!“, says Matthäus Leitgeb, passionate young wine grower and hobby musician (trumpet and flugelhorn). He regards climate challenge as the greatest challenge for his generation as well.