Do you remember your first sip of wine?
I remember my first hangover, I was seven years old. It was an afternoon when my dad was pressing the wine and I, attracted by the sweetness of the grape must, started stealing it and drinking it on the sly. It was only as a teenager that I began to appreciate the taste of wine: every Christmas I was entitled to a small glass of wine and I remember that one Christmas, I must have been fourteen, I really appreciated the aromas and flavours for the first time.
Jonas Huber began his wine training through the Higher Specialised School of Viticulture and Wine Technology in Changins, for which he obtained a diploma as a viticultural oenologist in 2013. This first diploma was followed by a Federal Patent in Viticulture obtained, also in Changins, in 2015.
In addition to his education, Jonas Huber also gained work experience, mainly in his family's winery, where he started working as an oenologist in 2014, even before completing his studies, and which he has been running since 2016.
When did you approach the world of wine professionally, and how did you develop your knowledge?
I think I trained mainly on the job. Seeing what is done in different wineries, what can be done with the grapes, has allowed me to learn a lot. The school also taught me a lot, but I have to admit that some of the theoretical knowledge that the school taught me got lost along the way.
And if you hadn't gone down this path, what work would he have done?
Actually, I did take another path. The hours of work I did in the vineyard as a teenager, unwillingly, weighed on me so much that, when I was 16, I decided to escape from the world of wine. So I trained as a construction machinery mechanic: I repaired cranes, climbers, that kind of machinery. I loved it, but as time went by I realised that was not the life I wanted.
Once you made the change, what were the most difficult moments in your career as a winemaker?
The most difficult time of all was when I officially took over the company and had the keys to the office in my hand... it was a shock. I had so many things on my mind and couldn't get half of them done. Luckily I have a wife who likes to do office work and that took a huge weight off my shoulders.
What is the most beautiful memory of an experience in the vineyard?
The most beautiful time of year is certainly the grape harvest. It's really exciting: all the work of a year is concentrated in this moment. If the grapes are beautiful and people are happy to pick them, it's really great.
I had so many things on my mind and I couldn't do half of them.
In terms of vintages, which was the most difficult year?
I think it was 2018. It hailed in May and that meant that by the end of the summer, the only food the animals were finding in the area were grapes. I lost tons of grapes even though I was constantly monitoring the wire fences.
What was the best year?
It's difficult to say, but I think it was 2020. I am really happy with this year: the grapes were beautiful, and above all the environment in which the harvest took place was beautiful. I didn't have any arguments with anyone (laughs).
It would seem, therefore, that the direction taken is the right one. What projects are on the horizon?
I don't know, I've already thrown out too many new ideas this year: I had one white wine and now I have four. My long-term plan is to increase the production of white wines. I believe that these wines will have a happier future than certain structured and tannic reds. A good white can go with anything and in my opinion it is also more sociable and this is very important for a wine.
Finally, what makes you happy?
First of all, it makes me happy to see my family happy and healthy, that's the most important thing. Then it's true that if my job is going well, I can only be happier and more relaxed (laughs), also because it allows me to spend more time with my children.