The first winery in Europe to be owned by several thousand co-owners – this is the ambitious goal that the Lower Austrian winery Dürnberg started its journey in the summer. After the end of the crowdinvesting campaign, everyone in the Weinviertel is happy: More than 5,000 new shareholders and co-owners have been found – a third of them from Germany – and six million euros of capital has been raised. This is by far the most successful crowd-invested equity issue ever in Austria.
The history of the Dürnberg winery began almost 30 years ago – back then, founder Christoph Körner received a vineyard from his grandmother, accepted the challenge and transformed the then inconspicuous company into a respected winery. The story is now enriched by a successful chapter: 5,239 new shareholders have been found through crowdinvesting, around two thirds of the shareholders come from Austria, one third from Germany and 14 other EU countries. This makes it the first winery in Europe to be owned by several thousand wine enthusiasts.
Overall, a capital increase of six million euro was carried out through the issue of shares. Both in terms of the number of investors and the capital raised, the Dürnberg winery is setting records in Austria: No share issue via crowdinvesting has been more successful. Interested parties can still register for the remaining shares via the Dürnberg website and, with luck, become co-owners.
Regards Management Team
The Dürnberg management team, consisting of Georg Klein, Head of Commercial Areas, Cellar Master Michael Preyer and Sales Specialist Matthias Marchesani, is extremely satisfied after the successful financing: “We are overwhelmed by this massive response and look forward to the our more than 5,000 new co-owners in the future cellar with a good glass of wine.”
Klein continues: “It confirms what we have been observing for some time. People are increasingly looking for direct contact with “their” winegrowers, but this has unfortunately been lost due to increasing digitalisation. It is precisely this relationship that we want to strengthen once again and our customers like it”.
The winery already has concrete plans for what should happen with the capital generated. “Now we will tackle the next phase of expansion of the cellar. We would like to advance into the absolute top category of Austrian wineries and produce the 'signature wines' of the Weinviertel”, explains Klein.
A barrique cellar, a cellar for bottle aging, additional storage space and a spectacular tasting room are planned, to which all new co-owners with the “Dürnberg Card” have 24-hour access and which will form the setting for Exclusive events for Dürnberg shareholders.
Sustainable, vegan and known all over the world
Those responsible are aware that the plans of the “Dürnberger” cannot be implemented overnight. Winemaker Michael Preyer puts the brakes on “signature wine” in particular: “Great wine takes time, we expect a journey to take about ten years.”
The wines are already vegan and certified sustainable, and the company is also in the process of converting to organic production. A photovoltaic system reinforces the desire for energy self-sufficiency, in addition, attention is paid to a good CO2 balance and the tractors only drive through the vineyards as little as possible. About 400,000 bottles are currently produced annually, the export share is 60 percent and reaches the United States, Japan or Australia.