oenologist, founder of friends of truths network and brand expert – Venice Beach
Katharina Riess used to be a successful PR consultant, but when she realised that she had lost her connection to a more fundamental way of life, she started to reclaim the things in life that are important to her: her friends, art, the small beautiful things around – and began to (re)unite the former in one meaningful network. “Friends of Truths” was born. Two years later, the 36-years-old who now lives in California and is a trained oenologist is completely committed to her world of “truthfulness.”
“Friends of Truths“ network’s first product plays on words: we are talking about wine “because wine is synonymous with truth, ‘in vino veritas’, enjoyment, ‘a treat for the taste buds’, sustainability, ‘eco-conscious production’ and passion, ‘to produce a good wine some skill and dedication is necessary’.” Their two biodynamic wines (Pinot Noir Rosé 2010 Baden: “Liebe Eisgekuehlt” and Pinot Grigio 2010 Baden: “Stiller Stolz Lauter Dank”) comply with the organic DEMETER product guidelines. Situated in the gently sloped landscape of the narrow foothill regions that stretch for only a few kilometres between the Upper Rhine Rift lowlands and the Black Forest, the grapes are cultivated in the loamy soil according to biodynamic principles.
Katharina Riess exemplifies a life close to nature and at the same time full of culinary joy and in close relationships with people who not only share her love for good products but are also her close friends and confidantes. We are glad to have found a supporter in Katharina – a very warm welcome!
What is more important to you, the sense of taste or sight?
For me in person, taste of course. Because taste play’s a big roll in my personal and professional life, I often imagine the taste (the combination of flavours and aromas) in my mind before even ordering a drink or preparing a meal. We all have our individual tastes. We know what we like or don’t like, influenced by all our personal experiences shaped through our parents, culture, the place we live, or by industry.
You are a creative person. What is your vision for your personal work?
Finding the freedom to live as true to myself as possible and holding the space for all others around me to be true to themselves too.
In 2010 you founded “Friends Of Truths” as a network of friends who try to achieve a “better understanding of some things in our often rather strange world” whilst focusing on food and wine. Can you tell us more about Friends of Truths’ aim and work?
We like to explore and we are interested in gaining a deeper understanding. This is why we ask questions. We ask questions of ourselves and one another. From time to time it’s important to reflect on our habits and getting to know why we choose what we eat or drink. Is it because someone told us we have to do it? Or is it of your own free will? Or: why are we buying certain things? Is it better to know who or what is behind the product? We like to find out, getting to know the people, the production methods they use and the philosophy behind the product. That’s why we like to host dinners and tastings around the world to exchange knowledge and celebrate well-crafted products.
On your website you emphasise that you are “interested in every exchange, every impulse, every creative idea with the goal of discovering the true and beautiful things in life and thus adding meaningfulness to the world.” When and how did you start to put as much emphasis on social and creative engagement as you do now?
I think it all started in my childhood, growing up as close as possible to nature and then becoming a winemaker. From then on I was able to combine my fascination with flavours and aromas with my interest in science and my love of the rural life. Later, of course, after realising I had lost my connection to a more basic way of life, things like my yoga mat, books, art and friends caught my attention and helped me to see all the small beautiful things that surround me again.
When was the last time you gave back and what did you do?
I try to give back as often as I can. Also simple things, like returning a smile to someone on the street.
What is the most beautiful thing you ever saw?
What would you like to see more often?
Sunrise or sunset – what do you prefer?
Sunrise because I like to be up as early as possible to explore the quietness of the morning. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like because I’m not perfect, but I am working on improving myself day by day.
It’s summer and for most of us, the change of seasons also involves a change in our culinary preferences. What is your perfect summer dinner?
Grilled peaches with burrata.
2-4 ripe peaches
Slice peaches in half, remove the pits, and grill them (until the top of the peach is turning golden), scoop a small handful of burrata onto the top of the peach and drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt over the peach and burrata. Serve immediately (tastes best when the peaches are still warm!).
Perfect of course accompanied by a glass of Wahrheit “Liebe Eisgekuehlt” Pinot Noir Rose!
Who is your personal hero?
I think I have a lot of heroes in my life.
What is your taste for IWISHUSUN?