Farm store, fruit, restaurant, wine and much more are found on the Fünfschilling Estate in Baden. What started as a small family farm with mixed farming, is now a diversified company.
The Fünfschilling Estate is idyllically situated between vineyards and orchards in Fischingen in Baden. From the farm store to a restaurant to the vineyard, Stefan Fünfschilling offers a line of diverse products. The appearance of his company is just a colourful. While the cherries, apricots and peaches provide colour in the fields, inside one room is green, while another radiates in pink. The well thought-out colour design is a recurrent theme throughout all the branches of the company, from the labels on the wine bottles to the Fendt tractors. Namely, they are all painted black. The black colour actually started out as a joke. “I asked my driver Yves, what kind of tractor he will buy next and he just said: “Black!” explains Fünfschilling, laughing about his conversation with Yves Trefzer. “He just wasn’t excited about green. So this way everything fits well to our colour concept. Then the decision was very easy,” he explains.
The fruit production industry was already under pressure while Stefan Fünfschilling was completing his training as a gardener specialising in fruit-growing. During his civilian service on the wine estate, Stefan Fünfschilling discovered his love to wine and got to know his current cellarer Jörn Stiefvatter there. “I started with two wines and a seasonal wine tavern. Today the business encompasses 30 ha of fruit plantations, 30 ha of vineyards and 20 ha of arable land as a reserve that is planted with different kinds of grain or sometimes pumpkins or lettuce.
“My employees are big fans of Fendt. We can easily switch between all the tractors and can couple implements in a short amount of time. Furthermore, we can always rely on this technology,” says Fünfschilling, explaining his decision for buying Fendt. He has seven in his business. “Markus was a present from heaven, he knows his Varios down to the last detail and understands the requirements for my business. During my first visit in Marktoberdorf, I wanted to look at a tractor with a front loader in the depths of winter. Everything was covered with snow and a layer of ice. Markus brushed snow from the machine with his sleeve and showed me how to attach a front loader. He didn’t bother keeping his shirt clean, that was not important to him, and that impressed me,” says Fünfschilling, describing his meeting with the Fendt factory representative Markus Arnegger. “We have known each other since you brought the first tool carrier, so that is more than ten years ago,” recalls Ralf Rieder, salesperson at the ZG Weil am Rhein. Fünfschilling especially appreciates Rieder’s reliability and honesty. “We are both pragmatic and solution-oriented and through our long collaboration, he knows my business extremely well, that is why I can always rely on him,” says Fünfschilling
In vineyards, the Vario transmission is an advantage when doing slow work, because it has no gear steps, so power is not lost through shifting. Furthermore, the high number of combination possible with different implements is another plus. “The Fendt tractors are not only technically modern – through the suspension, noise protection and design of the cab, work is really a pleasure,” raves Nicolas Scherer, standing next to his Fendt 209 V narrow track tractor. Soon he will go into the rows with the leaf vacuum, while Yves Trefzer prepares the seed bed in the new vineyard with a rotary harrow. “One of my friends asked me, if he could mow my lawn, just for relaxation. When I put him in one of my 200ers, he was so fascinated that he now also mulches my vineyards with gusto, whenever he has a bit of spare time. That is real proof for the love of great engineering,” says Fünfschilling, grinning. Of course, the tractors are not only used in the vineyards. A few kilometres from the vineyard lie the orchards, where the cherries are being harvested right now, and a new apricot orchard has been created. When buying new equipment, his focus is on high quality and fulfilling special needs. “I inform myself, also on an international level, and if the quality is not right, I simply wait another year with my investment,” he says, describing his demands on new machinery.
Stefan Fünfschilling’s vineyards lie in the Markgräflerland region and have a fantastic view over three countries: Germany, Switzerland and France. “My vineyards are distributed all around the estate, so that we have different soils. We can use that well for different wines, because every one of them has their own special advantages,” explains the entrepreneur. From lossy soil to sandy soil to heavy clay soils, Fünfschilling can make use of the particular advantages for his wines and also cultivate very demanding varieties of grapes. He can make a dry Pinot noir, just as well as a sweet Gewürztraminer or also his favourite wine, a semi-dry Chardonnay. “It tastes fruity and fresh, has a great aroma and a nice bouquet and is simply uncomplicated. For me, that is the best combination,” raves Fünfschilling, about his Chardonnay. It also sells well, which makes him twice as happy.
He likes it best uncomplicated. “We have a menu with great food, but we are not a star-rated restaurant. We want to attract as wide a public as possible. We want everybody to feel at home here, from groups of students to families to Swiss bankers. That is why we are open the whole day long,” he explains. One can observe the success over the entire day. The guests at the tables are constantly changing, and with them the food. According to Fünfschilling, many visitors combine their visit to the restaurant with shopping in the farm’s store. And that is why it has special opening hours up to 10:00 pm. Besides fresh fruit and juices, jams and cookies, pastries and vegetables as well as wine and sausages – everything the heart desires, is produced on the farm or in the region. “And for the crowning finale, many people treat themselves to our homemade ice cream,” he says, winking an eye. This is highly recommended.
Travels to Australia and New Zealand, where vineyards draw more young people than in Europe, inspired him. “If it works there, it must also work well here, too,” he thought and realised his ideas in the restaurant and wine menu. Then came the farm store, bakery and patisserie, to sell his own products and to increase utilisation in the restaurant.