Franz Heincz, Chairman
In the eyes of some modern contemporaries the word "cooperative"
inheres occasionally something overhauled, of yesterday, something
planned economy. Therefore, it makes sense to note a few personal
thoughts to it. If not for an anniversary, then when?
When my father, in 1968, with a handful of also far-sighted
men launched the winery Neckenmarkt, the idea of being no
longer exposed to the price pressure of wine merchants henceforth
stood in the foreground, to be in the first place of Franz
Heincz, chairman bringing prices dealers. The success of this
plan was proven by the fact that the following years more
and more vintners joined the cooperative, therefore, the total
number of members increased steadily.
But soon it came to the conclusion that cooperative-produced
wine is not per se of excellent quality. Those who utilized
the best grapes in their own cellar but handed in only inferior
grapes to the cooperative, did not just contribute to improve
Since more than 20 years, the philosophy of
our winery is focused on quality. The appropriate
programs have been reported on elsewhere (see Vineyard
If the pursuit of quality is accepted by all members, a cooperative
like ours offers a number of advantages.
We get first-class grapes of at least 300 hectares
of vineyards. This allows the production of 2 million
liters of fine wines.
As a cooperative we are able to supply larger quantities of
consistent quality. Only in this way we could, for example,
become accredited partners of the wine and food
One thing we certainly must not accept in a cooperative is:
That one brushes the ideas of free market economy
under the carpet. Although we are actually no private enterprise,
even if no top salaries are paid to the top management - you
can be successful only in the light of market rules.
This includes for example, that the number of members decreases
gradually. Thank God, the square footage of vineyards does
not decrease, which shows that as a grower who supplies all
his grapes to the cooperative is not behind the eight ball.
Recently we are aware increasingly of cases from the private
sector, where managers have poured billions down the drain,
and were then called for government help. In a cooperative-based
business all officials are volunteers, for employees certainly
no excessive salaries are paid, and if a margin is left, all
members will benefit of the profit in equal measure.
one can produce quality in great quantity and, moreover,
at a reasonable price (nota bene: it's about "reasonable"
prices, not crash prices!), then it makes sense to push towards
the shelves of supermarkets. This business is
certainly obtained by the free market with all its pleasant
and unpleasant rules.
Nevertheless, we have built a flourishing partnership
in recent years, which is characterized by recognition
of the ideas on both sides.
If Australian, South American or Spanish wines appear in the
grocery, it is because there are structures supporting the
ability to offer quality wines at reasonable prices and -
just as important - in quantities, as needed by the market.
The wine cellar Neckenmarkt participates in this game, by
now quite successfully.
Of course, we remain our "regulars" faithful. We
are proud of the many wine lovers, who know Neckenmarkt, the
wine cellar and its senior staff personally.
We are pleased with every glass of wine, served in restaurants
or bars, and we hopefully will continue to reach many friends
of the Neckenmarkt wine via retailers and wine shops.
The world keeps spinning. New countries emerge
on the economic horizon, emerging countries that were previously
on the threshold of modern industrialization and now exceed
that threshold. There is growing up an economically successful
middle to high social class as potential customers, which
we should not lose sight of. We cannot wait until the call
is heard from Russia or the Czech Republic after wines from
abroad. For Argentines, or possibly Italians have then been
already there. Therefore, we have established contacts in
these countries, first exports have been made. And of course,
previously hardly advertised markets are also interesting.
It is more than forty successful years
now, since the winery, respectively the wine cellar
Neckenmarkt, was founded. The opportunities today are
far from 1968th. The world is no longer divided into
East and West and has almost become a global village.
The model "wine cooperative" still is modern
and good enough to be able to survive economically.
This requires - as ever since - a little foresight,
a pinch of courage and risk-taking, responsible and
entrepreneurial thinking. It also is from utmost importance
to have full support for the ideas by a committed membership.
A cooperative is only as good as its diligent and competent
members and employees. I would, therefore, like to take
this opportunity to thank all members, the board and
the supervisory board, all our business partners and
all employees for their organizational commitment cordially.
The Neckenmarkt Wineries and its members I wish
all the best for the coming decades.
the photo: The statue of St. Donatus, affectionately
referred to as "Schauerokehrer", he should
turn away ("okehren") hail (rain) from the