A geographer by training, my understanding of soil, geomorphology, and climate, important factors in winemaking, was kindled at an early age. On a field trip to Germany, a wineloving lecturer introduced me to the pleasures of Mosel Rieslings. For my first employer I organized a wine and culture trip to the Touraine, but it was my move to Basel, on the doorstep of Baden and the Alsace that really stirred up my interest for wine.
Since my studies at the Austrian Weinakademie, wine is my profession. Apart from writing for several European publications, I organize wine trips and moderate wine tastings. I have a soft spot for natural wines, but doesn’t balk at more conventionally made vinous libations. New discoveries –Tauberschwarz anyone?, Tempranillo from Tuscany? – arouse my enthusiasm.
Wherever I go, whether it is the Vienna or the Black Forest, the Südtiroler mountains or the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, I bring my hiking boots, both to keep in shape and to ponder over new writing ideas.
As a proper Dutchman, I also like to ride my bicycle, most recently along the highways and byways (mostly byways) of London, my current city of residence.
An avid amateur flautist, I am very honoured to be writing the English program notes for the Sinfonieorchester Basel for the fifth season running. And when even music can’t distract me from matters of ampelography, canopy management or oxidative ageing, the stove is patiently waiting for me. My Indian cookbooks always have a new recipe to try out. And they are much easier to pair with wine than you’d think.