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JAKOBI

The “old farmer’s calendar” on the label of this sauvignon blanc tells you about the year in which it was grown. Jakobi is deeply rooted in our region.

In each vintage, the label for the aromatic, elegant Sauvignon Blanc and its symbols tell you all about the year when the wine was made. It is based on the age-old “Mandl” calendar, once created for the illiterate, which still adorns many a house in the region today. We added our own symbols of viticulture to mark specific events of the year.

Jakobitag – the day of the namesake Saint James – is a feast day in our village. On 25th July, the wind wheels or “Klapotetz” are put up here in Ratsch and surrounding areas. Their rattling noise is said to keep the birds away from the precious grapes.

Calendar label

Jakobi & The Farmer’s Calendar

The symbols of the Old Farmer’s Calendar, a unique piece of Styrian heritage, adorn the Jakobi label to tell us more about the year when the wine was made: from spring frost to blossom, and on to the harvest. The so-called “Mandl” calendar was created in the mid-18th century for the illiterate and has been preserved in almost the same form until today. It provides information about the weather, the lunar cycle, as well as saint’s days and feast days. Unlike the farmer’s calendar, the Jakobi calendar symbols do not look into the future but into the past.

The weather symbols, lunar phases, and specifically created symbols of viticulture on the label recount major events of the vintage.

Late frost in April, a full moon shortly before blossom, hail in August, or the end-of-harvest party in October: each year has its distinctive features that all influence the taste of the wine.

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Working day
Sunday, feast day
New moon
End-of-harvest party
Bottling
Jakobi
Véraison
Rainfall
Fertilizing
Good Friday & feast day for farm workers
Budbreak
Warm & pleasant
Blossom
Full moon
Pruning
Fog
Making Schnapps
Hailstorm
Beginning of harvest
Racking (from the lees)
Hot weather period
Caterpillars
Sudden change in weather
Snowfall
Planting new vines
Frost

The making of Jakobi

Inspired by the “Mandl” calendar in grandma’s kitchen, the Gross brothers and their sister went about creating a fancy label for Jakobi.

“For as long as we can think, the Old Farmer’s Calendar with its little men, signs, and figures was in grandma’s kitchen. It is also called Mandl calendar for this fact and we liked it from our early childhood days. We were totally fascinated, studying the weather forecast, the lunar phases, and we always knew whose saint’s day it was,” says Veronika.

In 2011, this memory led Veronika, Johannes, and Michael to what their father called the “first joint project of my children.” After taking over the winery, the brothers Johannes and Michael wanted to add something new to the existing product line. Together with their sister Veronika, PR consultant in Vienna and in this capacity also involved with the winery, they “invented” Jakobi: this wine was to distinguish itself from the classical make-up of the winery and to be established as a specific brand within it. It was Johannes who first thought about taking the farmer’s calendar in grandma’s kitchen as an inspiration, a piece of age-old Styrian heritage.

Jakobi – the label tells the story

Doing some research on the Mandl calendar, Veronika discovered an old woodcut predating letter-press printing: a forerunner of the Old Farmer’s Calendar, that showed an entire calendar year on a rectangular field.

The siblings now added symbols from viticulture to the weather and lunar symbols of the Old Farmer’s Calendar. Each major event of a vintage, from budbreak to harvest, from hail to heat wave, is thus attributable to the day it happened. Since no two vintages are the same, the label for Jakobi is renewed every year.

Jakobitag – the namesake St. James Day

They soon agreed on a region-specific Sauvignon Blanc. The quest for the name took longer but when Michael suggested “Jakobi”, they were all three convinced in a second. Jakobitag, St. James’ Day, is celebrated in Ratsch on 25th July as a special feast day and Jakobus is also the patron saint of the weather, which made the decision even easier.
Today, Jakobi is found in countless bars, bistros, and restaurants. It has its own fan community in Austria and abroad that studies the symbols on its label every year anew.

We feel honoured to be able to use the Old Farmer’s Calendar a protected piece of heritage, for our Jakobi labels.

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25. July

Jakobiwanderung – Jakobi Walk
Want to join us for the annual Jakobi walk? For more information, please contact the tourism association.

Jakobitag – St. James’ Day

Ratsch and its feast day

When the berries turn colour and the wind wheels start to rattle, time has come for winegrowers in Südsteiermark to celebrate Saint James Day – Jakobitag – as their weather patron’s feast day. Its typical sound is the rhythmic clatter of the “Klapotetz”, a wooden wind wheel intended to prevent the birds from getting to the ripening grapes. On July 25th each year, all Ratsch goes for a traditional walk: the Jakobiwanderung takes walkers over the hills around the village, from one culinary stop-over to the next. The highlight is the raising of the wind wheel and the ensuing party! For pictures and more information see Facebook.