Christof studied Business Administration at Vienna University intent on pursuing a career in banking. His astute business sense alerted him to the fact that working in his father’s wine business during his studies enhanced his financias and, naturally, his social quality of life! During his first university vacation in 1997 he traveled to wine fairs in the USA, Panama and Italy. By the end of the summer he had experienced the challenges and excitement of his first harvest. Before he knew it, he was hooked, dreams of banking a distant memory.
The next summer breaks were filled with internships at wineries in Sonoma, Carmernet, Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River and Graf Hardegg, Austria. Christof was keen to learn as much about different wine making techniques across the world. An OIV wine marketing programme at UC Davies and visits to the wine regions of South Africa helped round off his training.
15 years on he owns and runs Höepler, a 47 hectare estate on the slopes of the Leitaberg Hills on the shores of the Neusieedlee Lake in Austria. This unique microclimate enables Hoepler to make white, red and dessert wines.
A signature Höepler wine is delicate, elegant and subtle sharing similarities with wines from the Burgundy region. His passion for developing the authentic character of the grape is present in each and every bottle.
Hoepler exports 70% of its wine to 35 States in USA, UK, Holland, the Baltics, and Scandinavia. Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, the Queen Mary II, The Estonian Prime Minister and the famous von Trapp Family Lodge of Sound of Music fame are just some of his more well-known customers. His wines have won numerous Gold medals at the International Wine Challenge in London, the AWC, Vienna, Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast in the USA and he even won 99 points by Wine Enthusiast for his dessert wine, something he is still trying to top! Christof lectures at the University of Applied Sciences in Krems, Austria.