As a child, Ahmet Yildirim wanted to be what many of his age wanted to be: a professional footballer. And that looked good at first. He kicked his way up to the Oberliga, and at the age of 18 he was given an amateur contract by SVW Wiesbaden. “I was really good at it, too,” he told Business Insider. But then his weakness in the ball and his height of 1.70 meters got in the way.
So another career was needed. At the age of 19 he came into contact with wine for the first time. “Before, I only knew the long drink vodka Red Bull,” says the 43-year-old with a laugh. The parents of his girlfriend at the time had a wine cellar and invited him to try it out. The first glass, he recalls, was a Portuguese white wine with 70 grams of sugar. “Not exactly my favourite.” He still liked it at the time and decided to work with the fermented grapes outside of his free time.