The Wellentänzer

The wine experiment from Lake Zurich.
Irsslinger, Wellentänzer

Does wine improve when it is aged in the gentle swell of the waves of Lake Zurich?

This was the question that Robert and Chantal Irsslinger from the winery of the same name on Lake Zurich asked themselves. Inspired by fellow winegrower Fabian Sloboda, who started the experiment in Austria, they wanted to find out more. How does wine behave when it is constantly and naturally agitated by the waves in the lake? Is it possible to distinguish it from a wine that has matured in the cellar? The following video provides the answers:

The Zurich Wellentänzer:

The Johanniter grapes for the Wellentänzer – or “wave dancer” – wine from Lake Zurich are harvested and processed by hand. After it has fermented naturally, the wine is divided in half: one half is sealed in a specially constructed buoy, which then drifts in the lake, while the second half is processed and stored in the conventional way to produce a “twin” version, which serves as a reference when subsequently comparing the two wines.

More About Weingut Irsslinger

Weingut Irsslinger, Wellentänzer
Facts & Figures:
  • Grape variety: Johanniter
  • Days in the water: 70
  • Capacity of the buoy: 1,000 liters
  • Artificial energy used: 0%
  • Natural energy used: 100%
Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel (1753–1844)

A Not Entirely New Thought

Already Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel (1753–1844), founder of the Château Cos d’Estournel winery, was aware that wine improves in flavor when it is subjected to constant movement. This discovery was made purely by accident: the wine producer found that his wines that were shipped to India tasted better after months of being buffeted around on the high seas than those that had stayed at home.

“Compared to the reference wine of the same vintage, the Wellentänzer tastes more harmonious, complex, and spicy.”
Lorenz Kern, Weinbauzentrum Wädenswil
Lorenz Kern, head of viticulture & enology, Weinbauzentrum Wädenswil

Wine Lovers Can Taste the Wellentänzer Here:

The number of Wellentänzer bottles is limited, as the buoy only has a volume of 1,000 liters. This “rocked” wine can be tasted in the following restaurants and wine stores:


Wine Stores
Restaurant Igniv, Zürich Weinwerft, Uitikon Waldegg
Restaurant Blaue Ente, Zürich Mokerei Neff, Wald ZH
Romantik Seehotel Sonne, Küsnacht Preisig Käse und Wein, Richterswil ZH
Eder's Eichmühle, Wädenswil  
Landgasthof Krone, Sihlbrugg  

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