Wine & Enjoyment

„Ever since God created the world, wine has had the power to illuminate the dark path of truth.”

Dante

Wine & Enjoyment

Since ancient times the enjoyment of wine has had an almost reverential quality.

Countless great minds, Goethe included, devoted themselves to the enjoyment of wine and philosophised about it. Almost everyone knows the Latin saying “in vino veritas”, or “in wine there is truth”. Both in the ancient world and in our Christian tradition, wine is deeply rooted in our basic values and culture.

Wine can be drunk in different places and on different occasions, but it is not always associated with the heights of indulgence. This is because the internal attitude of the wine drinker, his character and not least a wine lover’s knowledge born of experience are all vital for the enjoyment to be savoured in full. Today we are able to enjoy a quality of wine the like of which there has never been before. Almost every winemaker strives with great dedication, technical expertise and creativity to produce the best possible quality of wine.
A major factor that should be highlighted is the return of winegrowers to the natural soil conditions and characteristics through organic, ecological and dynamic cultivation. Heeding these aspects makes the members of the trade pioneers of agricultural development, with the result being not only a recovery of nature, but also sustainability, which enables the consumer to devote himself to enjoying the wine with a clear conscience.

The Philosophy behind the aspect of enjoyment

Enjoyment should always be considered in conjunction with a good and happy life. For this reason the complexity and multifaceted nature of enjoyment can only really be grasped from a philosophical point of view. The Greek philosopher Epicurus acted primarily on the assumption that life should be founded on desire and pleasure, whilst pain and sorrow should be avoided wherever possible. The philosophical objectives of the ancient world always concentrated on a good and happy life, and enjoyment was debated as the highest form of experience in manifold writings, while also being extolled in verse.
If some of us could succeed in giving greater validity to enjoyment as the embodiment of a good and happy life with a delicious glass of wine, the outcome would certainly be a significant improvement in our own quality of life.

Wine with dosage instructions

Resolutely on nature’s trail – from Castell Miquel, a unique wine with an information leaflet.

Two souls beat in his breast. One for nature, the other for science. This is how Michael Popp, answered our question as to what inspires him in life. The dynamic 54-year-old Franconian is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur. With Bionorica the renowned drugmaker has flown from one sales success to another. The company, which operates on a global scale, uses state-of-the-art methods to conduct its research worldwide and develops herbal medicines which are increasingly being recommended by doctors and pharmacists and requested by patients. One of these ought to be familiar to almost everyone, namely Sinupret for respiratory infections. With a total of 12 different natural medicines, Bionorica is now the market leader by sales in Germany and other large pharmaceutical markets.

And since the as yet undiscovered potential of nature is enormous and hugely varied, the thirst for knowledge of the pleasant Franconian is correspondingly great. This is the case not only when it comes to the subject of being healthy, but also in a completely different area, that of healthy indulgence. For this reason, several years ago Popp acquired and completely renovated a former farm on the Balearic island of Majorca. The 17-hectare vineyard, Castell Miquel, lies in a picturesque location in the north-west of the island, surrounded by the Tramuntana mountains. Centuries-old stone walls were rebuilt, the terraces on the slopes were reinstated and valuable vines were planted. The buildings were restored and extended. With passion and creative ideas, the estate became an exclusive vineyard producing Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc wines. In the process, the drugmaker’s wines must meet special requirements: “We work hard to ensure that the wines we produce are top quality, yet affordable. In addition they also have to be innovative."

The vineyard, which thanks to its steeply sloping terraces gives the majority of its wines the handle “Stairway to Heaven”, offers a multitude of examples of creativity and innovation: the red wines are fermented in special mash plunging tanks which  consist of 80% oak wood, maturation takes place in barriques made from Hungarian or French oak, and wine is decanted into bottles with glass stoppers.

A passion for nature and actions in line with this seem to be a Poppian recipe for success when it comes to wine too. With his team assembled around vintner Thomas Wambsganss, red and white wines based on a variety of types of grape have been developed, already winning more than 100 international awards in the process. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded a Gold prize by Mundus Vini in 2010. The 2008 Shiraz also won Gold at the AWC Vienna in 2012. Another vintage from Castell Miquel has been served in First Class on Lufthansa – just a few examples as far as indulgence is concerned.

But what about health? The becomes clear as Michael Popp explains the USP of the highly regarded bodega to us. Castell Miquel is the only vineyard to have the health-conducive substances in its red wines measured and identified. A wine produced by a drugmaker with dosage instructions, you might say… Popp the scientist refers to studies that show that red wine can be beneficial to the cardiovascular system, offers possibilities for the prevention of cancer and age-related dementia. Naturally the health expert makes it even clearer for us: “Red wine should always be enjoyed in moderation, that is to say one to a maximum of two glasses a day.”

Popp spends every second or third weekend at the bodega, which is also open to wine lovers and offers tours and tastings. This is not his only aim on the island. This year the nature-lover purchased around 15 additional hectares near Sa Canova, a couple of kilometres from the north coast, from a bank. The land is home to a unique habitat with the largest collection of Mediterranean and native plants and trees. Rare olive, almond and carob trees grow alongside peach species, together with orange and lemon trees. In total there are over 240 different types of plant here, all in one location. Currently Popp is having the entire, slightly run-down looking site cultivated in a nature-friendly way by his own botanists. His objective: “I want, above all, to enable children to experience nature in all its fascinating variety again. As early as next year we intend to invite school classes to visit us here and offer them a guided tour of this habitat.” And to anyone who asks how Popp, a scientist, owner of a
company operating in 49 countries and proprietor of a vineyard is able to fit all of this in, receives a simple answer: “Everything that I do, I do because I enjoy it and from personal conviction. For this reason I don’ experience any of the usual stress. I am happy to have so many great employees.”

Of course we stubbornly insist on him telling us if he ever thinks about relaxing, and if so, what he does. Popp grins, slowly takes a small sip of wine, looks at the setting sun in the Tramuntana mountains and says, “Just taste it. This is how I have my best thoughts.”

Wine enjoyment at the carathotels

Two souls beat in his breast. One for nature, the other for science. This is how Michael Popp, answered our question as to what inspires him in life. The dynamic 54-year-old Franconian is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur. With Bionorica the renowned drugmaker has flown from one sales success to another. The company, which operates on a global scale, uses state-of-the-art methods to conduct its research worldwide and develops herbal medicines which are increasingly being recommended by doctors and pharmacists and requested by patients. One of these ought to be familiar to almost everyone, namely Sinupret for respiratory infections. With a total of 12 different natural medicines, Bionorica is now the market leader by sales in Germany and other large pharmaceutical markets.

And since the as yet undiscovered potential of nature is enormous and hugely varied, the thirst for knowledge of the pleasant Franconian is correspondingly great. This is the case not only when it comes to the subject of being healthy, but also in a completely different area, that of healthy indulgence. For this reason, several years ago Popp acquired and completely renovated a former farm on the Balearic island of Majorca. The 17-hectare vineyard, Castell Miquel, lies in a picturesque location in the north-west of the island, surrounded by the Tramuntana mountains. Centuries-old stone walls were rebuilt, the terraces on the slopes were reinstated and valuable vines were planted. The buildings were restored and extended. With passion and creative ideas, the estate became an exclusive vineyard producing Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc wines. In the process, the drugmaker’s wines must meet special requirements: “We work hard to ensure that the wines we produce are top quality, yet affordable. In addition they also have to be innovative."

The vineyard, which thanks to its steeply sloping terraces gives the majority of its wines the handle “Stairway to Heaven”, offers a multitude of examples of creativity and innovation: the red wines are fermented in special mash plunging tanks which  consist of 80% oak wood, maturation takes place in barriques made from Hungarian or French oak, and wine is decanted into bottles with glass stoppers.

A passion for nature and actions in line with this seem to be a Poppian recipe for success when it comes to wine too. With his team assembled around vintner Thomas Wambsganss, red and white wines based on a variety of types of grape have been developed, already winning more than 100 international awards in the process. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded a Gold prize by Mundus Vini in 2010. The 2008 Shiraz also won Gold at the AWC Vienna in 2012. Another vintage from Castell Miquel has been served in First Class on Lufthansa – just a few examples as far as indulgence is concerned.

But what about health? The becomes clear as Michael Popp explains the USP of the highly regarded bodega to us. Castell Miquel is the only vineyard to have the health-conducive substances in its red wines measured and identified. A wine produced by a drugmaker with dosage instructions, you might say… Popp the scientist refers to studies that show that red wine can be beneficial to the cardiovascular system, offers possibilities for the prevention of cancer and age-related dementia. Naturally the health expert makes it even clearer for us: “Red wine should always be enjoyed in moderation, that is to say one to a maximum of two glasses a day.”

Popp spends every second or third weekend at the bodega, which is also open to wine lovers and offers tours and tastings. This is not his only aim on the island. This year the nature-lover purchased around 15 additional hectares near Sa Canova, a couple of kilometres from the north coast, from a bank. The land is home to a unique habitat with the largest collection of Mediterranean and native plants and trees. Rare olive, almond and carob trees grow alongside peach species, together with orange and lemon trees. In total there are over 240 different types of plant here, all in one location. Currently Popp is having the entire, slightly run-down looking site cultivated in a nature-friendly way by his own botanists. His objective: “I want, above all, to enable children to experience nature in all its fascinating variety again. As early as next year we intend to invite school classes to visit us here and offer them a guided tour of this habitat.” And to anyone who asks how Popp, a scientist, owner of a
company operating in 49 countries and proprietor of a vineyard is able to fit all of this in, receives a simple answer: “Everything that I do, I do because I enjoy it and from personal conviction. For this reason I don’ experience any of the usual stress. I am happy to have so many great employees.”

Of course we stubbornly insist on him telling us if he ever thinks about relaxing, and if so, what he does. Popp grins, slowly takes a small sip of wine, looks at the setting sun in the Tramuntana mountains and says, “Just taste it. This is how I have my best thoughts.”