The family-owned winery Kern was founded in 1903. Currently, the venerable enterprise is run by the fourth generation of the Kern family, namely by the brothers Friedrich and Ulrich Kern. Besides their wives, also their father Hanspeter is still regularly present at the company and supports the team in every way possible. With Christoph, the fifth “Kern generation” has become a full part of the company with its altogether 12 employees.
Though preserving the long family tradition, the Kern family is open to new developments as can be seen by the new construction of the company’s entire production plant, completed in September 2012. In 2013 the modern building was awarded the title “Highlight of viniculture”. The planning of the project was driven by the desire to allow the easy and effortless management of the plant and a more practical arrangement of the tanks. The new sales room and vinotheque were designed as prestigious areas that also show the company’s openness towards private customers. Here, all of Kern’s house-made wines can be tasted and purchased. Thanks to big glass surfaces everything appears open and transparent. The warm, friendly atmosphere regularly serves for events like vernissages. “It is a pleasure to see how much our visitors appreciate the vinotheque and leave their daily stress behind”, says Ulrich Kern.
The Kern family decided to rearrange their entire product line. The winery’s most noble wines are now divided into three lines – Streif, blue and gold. The new arrangement means a partial breach of old traditions, yet it also attracts new customers. In particular, it is people between 30 and 50 whom the new lines are supposed to attract. “Often, people are in search of a new ‘wine experience’, of new types and nuances they’ve come across in other parts of the world”, Kern says about the target group mentioned.
Every year the family-run winery processes nearly 1,5 million kilogram of grapes that come from 150 selected winegrowers. The main grape varieties are Trollinger and Lemberger, but also Burgunder, Riesling and Zweigelt play a role.
Kern wants to maintain the company’s modest growth also in the future. “We are not trying to grow artificially”, Ulrich Kern says in matters of the company’s future prospects. “Wine is the very core of our business. The new lines of wines are meant to attract younger customer groups and our intention is to achieve a sustained and even bigger success.”
The construction of the new building also brought about the acquisition of new tanks. “The new building made it necessary for us to acquire tanks with double jackets”, cellar master Kern explains. This allows individual temperature control and temperature regulation. Kern’s 176 tanks have a total capacity of almost two million litres. Kern describes the cooperation with Speidel as highly professional. “Whatever question we had, there’s always been a contact person we could count and rely on”. With the aid of their CAD programme, Speidel adapted the construction plans to Kern’s ideas and requirements during the planning phase and made the altered plans available to the winery. Together they were looking for the perfect arrangement of the stainless steel tanks.
“Though they were extremely careful, accurate and precise, the technicians worked incredibly fast. The installation of the tanks was finished almost one week earlier than planned.”
In addition to the tanks’ double jackets, it was Speidel’s extraordinary and unfailing effort that made the difference for Kern. “Several times Speidel staff members and director Speidel himself stopped by to go through the various planning phases. We were even invited to their head office in Ofterdingen. Their professionalism and quality convinced us. We had not one single problem with any of our 176 tanks”, Kern says.
For Kern it is the excellent price-performance ratio that makes Speidel tanks so outstanding. Also during delivery and installation everything worked smoothly and fine. “Delivery was perfectly on time” Kern says. “Though they were extremely careful, accurate and precise, the technicians worked incredibly fast. The installation of the tanks was finished almost one week earlier than planned.”