More than 30 different grape varieties grow on the steep Buechberg in Thal SG. Tom grows twelve varieties himself and makes his own wine. Between 25'000 and 30'000 bottles are produced each year. He only produces 500 bottles of certain varieties, which are real rarities. The beginnings of Ochsentorkel AG go back more than 100 years. Originally a cooperative, he now produces high quality and unique wines as the main shareholder. He acquired his skills and knowledge during his studies of oenology at the University of Applied Sciences in Wädenswil and was later responsible for wine production in a large winery in South Africa.
 

8 Grape varieties
13 Bottles
5 Hectares

A little story

 

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The origins of Ochsentorkel Weinbau AG go back to the Thal Winegrowers' Cooperative, which was founded on May 6, 1916 in the hall of the Gasthaus Ochsen in Thal. The main initiator was David Tobler (1880-1933). At the beginning of the century, the cultivation of grapes on the Buechberg was in decline. Powdery mildew and downy mildew (fungal diseases) regularly destroyed the entire harvest.

David Tobler renewed the viticulture by specific cultural measures and the selection of varieties. The resulting cooperative served as an organizational platform for the Buechberg winegrowers. Slowly, viticulture in Thal was able to recover.

From 1931 on, the members of the cooperative decided to buy and vinify the grapes themselves. For this purpose, the wine press facilities of the Custerhof agricultural school in Rheineck could be used. In 1948, the cooperative rented the cellars of the Gasthaus Ochsen in Thal and purchased its own cellar facilities. The bad vintages of the 50s of the last century put a strain on the cooperative. It was only thanks to the great commitment (also financial) of the members of the cooperative that these years could be overcome. In 1963, the company Lutz and Co. from Rehetobel took over the entire wine production of the cooperative as a tenant.

In 1991, the winegrowers' cooperative started to press and market the wine itself. Between 1991 and 2006, the number of members of the cooperative increased to 300. Edy Geiger (General Manager) Ueli Kobel (Cellar Master and General Manager) and Ida Ammann
(President) succeeded in establishing the company in the highly competitive wine market.

On March 23, 2007, the Thal winegrowers' cooperative was transformed into Ochsentorkel Weinbau AG, with Salome Reimann and Tom Kobel-Reimann as the main shareholders and general managers.  The members of the cooperative received shares in the amount of the value of their share certificates.

In the summer of 2017, Salome Reimann sadly passed away, Tom Kobel has continued to run the business since then.

  

What wines should you taste when you visit Ochsentorkel in Thal ?

 

We start our tasting with a white blend, the Hohe Lust Weiss. As we also took it in our MesVignerons boxes, we already knew that we were going for a sure value :-) it is an exclusive and rare blend that we really loved. We continue with the Tante Hedy in red. This is a late harvest Pinot Noir from the Thal Valley. We can say that we are on a Pinot Noir that is medium-bodied, but authentic! We finish with the Tin Tin, an incredible red wine, Mediterranean style. We suddenly find ourselves on a terrace in the south of France in one sip. It is the strongest red wine that he produces in the cellar.

As a little anecdote, Tom's son Crispin called himself Tin Tin when he was little and when he introduced himself to people. That's why Tom used this name as a little wink to his son.

 

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Tom is a taster at the Grand Prix des Vins Suisses, as well as at Expo Vinea in Sierre. This reinforces the professionalism and authenticity of his wines.

In the news, the release of his first sparkling wine in June 2021.

Tom also organizes events in his sales room which he combines with vineyard tours and wine walks. During the harvest, he takes time out to give tours of the winery, which is an exciting time if you want to go and say hello at that time!

 

Favorite : Blanc et Noir with Chardonnay and Pinot. A truly unique wine !
The emblematic wine is Hohe Lust Weiss

 

 
☺Tom Kobel
✉ Dorfstrasse 7
9425 Thal☜

071 888 57 52