In 1985, he drew the conclusion: he opened a wine shop in Regensburg. Wein-Plus was looking for a person responsible for South Tyrol at the end of 2007. That interested him, and he got on extremely well with Utz. It was simply a good fit. Since then, Roland has been regularly informing the winegrowers there about the work of Wein-Plus and, on the other hand, reports in the Wein-Plus magazine about the wine country of South Tyrol and its developments.
He describes himself as "conservative in the best, because progressive way". Music is his second passion after wine, and here he prefers to listen to the sound of the 1960s and 1970s. His favourite bands include Humble Pie, The Who, Cream, the Rolling Stones and blues in almost any form. When it comes to football, he has remained true to his Franconian homeland: Roland is a Nuremberg fan, "even if it's sometimes hard to bear - but after all, as a real fan you can't choose".
Since when have you been using Wein-Plus?
Before I met Utz Graafmann, I only knew the name. But since I joined, I have been using Wein-Plus privately and for my business. Especially the wine descriptions are very important to me - but not so much the ratings. Numbers don't interest me very much, even if they give me an orientation. In addition, the glossary is very helpful for me because I can find an answer to almost any question there - and, by the way, also to questions from my customers. In addition, I like to read the articles in the magazine to broaden my horizons.
What impressions do you remember of Italian wine in your student days? What fascinated you so much back then that it shaped your life?
By today's standards, it was mostly wines of modest quality that I could afford back then. But I always found some that thrilled me - sometimes despite, sometimes because of their rough edges. For me, the greatest fascination always came from the wine's connection to its origin. For me, enjoying a good wine is at the same time a journey to where the wine comes from and what has made it what it is now.
When did you decide to sell only organic wines in your Enoteca Italiana - and why?
That's not quite true, even if the website currently gives that impression. I also have conventional wines in my assortment, but I always make sure that my suppliers are open to sustainable management in the ecological sense. If that is also certified, all the better.
Musically, you love the sound of the 1960s and 1970s. Please name three of your favourite Italian winemakers - and the matching album.
That's a difficult task, because all the vintners in my range are among my favourites, and because there are many more than three of them in the music, too. But well: here's an attempt:
Lucio Canestrari from Fattoria Coroncino in the Marche - "Smokin'" by Humble Pie Earthy blues-rock, snotty, cheekily played with a sense of the essential. No superfluous sound, no superfluous instrument can be heard on "Smokin". On this album, Humble Pie bring the soul of the basically simple songs to life and give them depth. At the same time, the band is loose. Some songs start with hearty laughter. Lucio Canestrari, who describes himself as a "wine troubadour", is also a person who likes to laugh and does his work with joy and at the same time great seriousness. The results are individual interpretations of the white wine Verdicchio that get to the heart of what this great grape variety is all about: fullness, elegance, earthy minerality, southern warmth and enormous longevity.
Garlieder Winery from South Tyrol - "Eat a Peach" by the Allman Brothers Band With a lot of drive and dynamism, the Allman Brothers interpret blues classics on "Eat a Peach" and give them a new face without robbing the songs of their identity. At the same time, they show what they are capable of with their own compositions. Christian Kerschbaumer interprets the classic varieties of his growing region, the Eisack Valley in South Tyrol, in a biodynamic way and shows with his style what these varieties are made of. And with his mash-fermented "Hautnah" wines, he creates exciting new growths that have it all.
Filippo Antonelli from Umbria - Album 'Best of Willi Dixon' Willi Dixon and Filippo Antonelli are - Dixon was, because he is already dead - self-confident experts who never have to prove anything to anyone. Both are characterised by great versatility and openness, which makes the music as well as the wines exciting and interesting. Both show off without showing off - with charm, self-confidence and nonchalance. Willi Dixon combined blues with jazz and swing, taking the heaviness and sadness out of the blues. Filippo Antonelli produces an austere, tannic, often bulky Sagrantino di Montefalco that is also pleasant to drink. Both created and continue to create timeless classics - Filippo Antonelli hopefully for a long time to come.