Company History

Our Company's History  

In the twenties of the last century the Viennese pharmacist Friedrich Richter succeeded in cultivating dried selected yeasts and preserving them. As excipient he used rosehip skins, pips and other specially dried plants which he seeded with selected yeasts. Different yeast strains of yeast are used in seeding of various fruit and berry wines as well as for the mash for distilling liquors, in order to achieve a neutral and safe fermentation.

For the first time ever it was possible to make dry yeasts for commercially available, as up to then "small time wine growers" needed to get their starter must from renowned wine growers directly. One disadvantage was that only during the grape harvest this must with sufficent "good" yeasts was available and that it was difficult to transport this fermenting must. And anyway the own wine must had to be already pressed so it could be seeded. As a consequence a prosperous trade with these special dry selected yeasts immediately developed as they could be used throughout the year. It also pushed the making of wine on small scales as contrary to earlier times not only chance decided on the quality of the seeded must (wine faults etc., refer to literature) any longer. The season of the berry harvest starts in June (strawberries) and continues through summer into autumn (red and black currants, raspberries, blackberries, elderberries, apples, pears, plumes, sorb tree berries, grapes, rosehips and so on)

The cornerstone for our business was laid. The pharmacist passed on his shop and production to his daugther Elfriede Richter who carried on herself at the location in Vienna's. District No. 1 till the mid nineteen-sixties. Apart from wine yeasts the shop offered a practical collection of recipes and numerous practical accessories (fermenting glass tubes, syphoning tubes, cleansing and corking equipment etc.). An interesting aspect was the brochure "Vierkaburg" which was published four times a year (in the nineteen-thirties and fourties because of demand every month) and supplied the readers with tips and tricks and new recipes (e.g. for dried fruits) to the topic of wine making at home. The name Vierkaburg is a German brand by the German pharmacist Friedrich Sauer who invented independently a similar process for producing dry yeasts. These products are still available on the market although in improved quality and in simplified application procedures) We have chosen to be supplied only by the best professional producers (best in quality and reputation) of wine and beer yeasts.

Mid-60-ies Mrs. Gertrud Hoschek took over the shop and moved it to 10th Vienna district's Buchengasse 93. There she established the small shop and the mail order business of Richter and Vierka yeasts, fermentation aids, barrel equipment, seasonings, spices and some other accessory. The liqueur and spirit seasonings, well known by then, have been our well kept secret since 1920.

In January 1987 Mrs. Roswitha Knopf took over the company and moved to the 14th Vienna district into the Gurkgasse 16, where the company still is located. The company was established officially as "Kellereibedarf Knopf Gmbh (Ltd.).

On January 1st, 2004, Ing. Michael Holzeis took over the company, already a bigger company than ever before, but still a company run along the best family traditions. The product range was widened and has developed into a true source for everything the DIY-brewers, distillers, winemakers need. Since then the fields of "Smoking of Fish and Meat, Cheese Making, Bread & Dough and Fungiculture" have been added because of the new owner's personal experiences.

In 2004 the brand holzeis was born to present the increasing number of fields and products under a uniform brand that also reflects the personal experience and efforts of the owner. Still the familiarity of the older name of "Kellereibedarf Knopf GmbH" for the big number of national and international customers has helped the decision to also integrate the well known name into the new holzeis-era.

Over the last few years we have grown into a still small, but increasingly renowned mail order house. More than 60% of the annual turnover are earned in an ever growing worldwide trade that rests on the main regions Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Yet we still invest into our small retail shop and with undeterred effort into our employees as they set us ahead of the big trading companies. Courses, seminars and workshops for our employees spread the know-how, deepen the insight and create a problem solving capacity that is our service to our customers – quality advice for the often unique situations our customers are faced with. Still we like to think of us as the small shop near Your home!

Even when You are one of our esteemed, but far away mail-order customers we would like to meet You here in our small shop – why not travel to Vienna: for a holiday and for a look around in our shop and philosophy!

Let youself get infected by the joy of doing it Yourself!

Bring Your home-made products, even bring Your knives – maybe our boss will give them a razor blade sharpening; try us out!


holzeis - Team

... on  www.holzeis.at