Interview With A Winemaker – Jorma Kütt
20th October 2023
Wine isn’t just made, it’s crafted by the unwavering expertise of a Winemaker, sometimes old traditions are passed down by generations and on other occasions, new people venture into the industry, introducing us to new creations, this series of Winemaker Interviews will help you uncover the vast world and skills of how the artists passionate about wine make the world a bubbly place.
In this feature we speak with Jorma Kütt, an amazing Winemaker from Estonia, let’s discover a little about his time in the Estonian Wine Industry.
Tell Us About Yourself And How You Become Involved In The Wine Industry?
“My journey to winemaking hasn’t been straightforward. As it is a relatively new production field in Estonia, I couldn’t have imagined that I would end up in this sector, but somehow it did happen. In 2010, the owner of Ulge Farm and my father Aivar, purchased his first small wine fermentation tank to try his hand at the art of winemaking. We thought that Aivar had undertaken a rather crazy endeavor – we have not previously been particularly fond of alcohol, and wine was a relatively unfamiliar and exotic drink for us.
As the ice began to thaw, the winemaking bug was passed down from my father to me and after quitting my job in 2019, I decided to devote myself solely to developing my own wine kitchen. I used to work as a sales specialist at one of the largest agricultural companies in Estonia, and after that experience, it was refreshing to do something just for myself. Finding inspiration in his exciting idea, I built my own wine kitchen and worked hard to ensure that wine made from home-grown ingredients reached a level of quality that would find its way beyond Estonia’s borders.”
As A Winemaker, What Has Been Your Hardest Obstacle To Overcome In Producing Wine?
“Establishing the production was the most complex part. Since the wine industry is a relatively new branch in Estonia, it can be said that obtaining all the necessary permits and achieving compliance was quite challenging. Additionally, it has been difficult at times to assess the local consumer taste preferences. This work is ongoing and every year, some adjustments need to be made, but it seems that a rosé or white semi-dry sparkling wine is always a safe bet.”
How Do You Determine When Your Wine Is Ready To Drink?
“This comes from experience. Over the years, I’ve become clear about the flavors and aromas I want to experience in my wines. At the same time, I am my own harshest critic, and if I am not satisfied with the product’s quality, it doesn’t make it into circulation. I like to jokingly think that first, I have to be able to sell the product to myself, and only then to the consumer.”
What Part Of The Wine Making Process Do You Enjoy The Most?
“I enjoy bottling the wine the most. This means that all the hard work is done, I am confident in the final product quality, and all the hard work and waiting have paid off. Bottling days are always very pleasant – the wine cellar is clinically clean, relaxing music is playing, and the work goes quickly.
As I have always enjoyed communication, sales work is also very enjoyable for me. I really like welcoming tourist groups, and it must be acknowledged that wine tourism is a growing trend in Estonia. 19 winemakers – including Ulge Winery – have formed the Estonian Wine Trail and have opened their doors to both domestic and foreign tourists to introduce their activities.”
Where’s The Most Memorable Place You’ve Enjoyed A Glass of Bubbly?
“It was in a small town called Essaouira in Morocco. I had previously dreamt of being by the Atlantic Ocean and watching the sun set beyond the horizon, and in Morocco, I managed to see that view. I was sitting on the rooftop of a local restaurant, holding a glass of bubbly, and I watched the sun set beyond the horizon. It was truly a magical sight.”
Thank you Jorma, for sharing your words, knowledge and experience with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!
Images belong to Jorma Kütt. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission to use them.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.