Taste our Jakobi? Come on in!
Frost in April, a full moon shortly before blossom, hail in August or the end-of-harvest party in October: each year has its own features that all go into the taste of the wine.
Jakobi & the Old Farmer’s Calendar
With its symbols of the Old Farmer’s Calendar, a unique cultural heritage of Styria, the label of Jakobi tells us of the vintage in which it matured: from frost to blossoming, and on to the harvest. The so-called ‘Mandlkalender’ was produced in the mid-18th century for the illiterate population and has survived nearly unchanged to this day. It interprets the weather, the lunar phases as well as saints’ and feast days. Unlike the Old Farmer’s Calendar, the symbols of the Jakobi calendar refer to the past rather than the future.
With its weather symbols, the lunar phases and our own viticultural icons, the label summarizes the important events of the year in which the wine was made.
The symbols of the Farmer’s Calendar at a glance
Jakobi is a Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps the most important variety of Südsteiermark. We love to drink it when spending a cosy evening with friends. Jakobi is also best before or with a meal.
Gross & Gross
The making of Jakobi
Inspired by the ‘Mandlkalender’ in grandma’s kitchen, the Gross brothers ventured to find a sophisticated label for Jakobi.
“For as long as we know, the Old Farmer’s Calendar with its little men, signs and figures hung in grandma’s kitchen. It is thus also called Mandlkalender (little men’s calendar) and it fascinated us from our early childhood days. We loved to look up the weather forecast, the lunar phases and whose feast day it was today”, remembers Veronika.
These memories probably led Veronika, Johannes and Michael in 2011 to what their father describes as the “first joint project of my children”. After the takeover, the brothers Johannes and Michael wanted to add something new to the existing product range. Together the three siblings “invented” Jakobi: a wine that was to clearly stand apart from the classical visual appearance of the winery and establish itself within it as an individual brand.
Jakobi: a tell-tale label
During their research into the “Old Farmer’s Calendar”, the siblings discovered an ancient woodcut from the pre-printing period: a forerunner of the Farmer’s Calendar that depicted the whole year on a rectangular surface.
The siblings then enlarged the weather and lunar symbols to include their own viticultural icons. Each important event of the vintage, from budding to harvest time, from hailstorm to heatwave, can thus be linked to a special day. As the annual cycle changes from year to year, the label of Jakobi is renewed every year.
The namesake Jakobi (St. James Day)
It soon became clear that this should be a regional-typical Sauvignon Blanc. Finding a name definitely took longer. But when Michael came up with „Jakobi“, the three immediately agreed. In our village Ratsch, Jakobi is celebrated like a holiday on 25th July. That St. James is also our weather patron made things all the easier for us.
We feel particularly honoured to be able to use a protected cultural heritage as the Old Farmers’s Calendar for our Jakobi brand.
Let’s celebrate in Ratsch
When the grapes start to ripen and the wind wheels are turning, then winemakers in South Styria celebrate Jakobi, the day of St. James, hereabouts patron of the weather. The rhythmic rattle of the wind wheel (or ‘Klapotetz’) is meant to keep the birds off the ripening grapes. Each 25th July, Ratsch organizes the traditional Jakobi walk around the South Styrian wine road. It leads across the hills around Ratsch, from one food-and-drink stop to the next. The highlight of the day is the installation of the wind wheels and the ensuing party! Pictures and more info on facebook.