Local wine maker and tavern as family business for 10 generations

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Name of the provider / Family business 

Heuriger Steinklammer 

Professional sector and company size 

<50, Gastronomy

Need/problems/challenge addressed 

Corporate governance in family business and family governance mechanisms 




Link to more information  

The two family branches were brought together in 1989 by marriage between Kurt Fuchs and Helene Fuchs-Steinklammer.

The family Steinklammer have been winemakers for about 300 years. In 1932, the tavern was was the beginning of the family business in gastronomy. In 1956, Hans Steinklammer and his wife Helene started the family business in its current form. Their daughter, Helene, worked in the family business and got married to Kurt Fuchs, an offspring of another traditional winemaker family in Vienna.

Today, the 10th generation, represented by the sons Stefan Fuchs, a graduate of the Klosterneuburg School of Viticulture, and Alexander Fuchs, a viticulture student at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna, are both active in the family business. In addition to modern technical know-how, they bring innovative ideas to marketing and wine production and are also responsible for quality management in the vineyard and cellar. The managing directors are Kurt Fuchs, who is responsible for the diverse wine assortment of the Fuchs-Steinklammer winery, and his wife Helene, who took over the tavern in 2003.

With so many years of family business, there were often conflicts between older/ younger generations. The reasons were mostly alike: whilst the older generation was committed to traditional winemaking and running the tavern, the younger generation, who had studied new trends and techniques at school, wanted to re-invent the vinification processes and core parts of the family business.

Since 1956, there have been a family council and corporate family governance mechanisms, which were very supportive to solve generation conflicts. The family council always consisted of members of at least two generations. Thus, the two family branches managed to keep a balance between tradition in winemaking and gastronomy, as well as innovation and staying on the pulse of time, by allowing the new generation to bring in their ideas and visions, choosing the most promising and implementing innovations prudently and step-by-step, with only a narrow risk tolerance. With these mechanisms, the family was able to further run the business and maintain a reputation, as well as the brand of hundreds of years of winemaking in Vienna.

Since 2003, the Steinklammer family business has been committed to sustainable and biological wine-making, starting with the implementation of new processes as additional strategies and expanding this further and further. Today, the family products stand for sustainable and ecological winemaking and the use of such products in their tavern; this gives perspectives also to the next generation to come.