Life is truly like a road with many surprises. There are u-turns, stop signs, dead ends (at least I thought so) and speed zones. Most of all, there are plenty of construction sites. This has been my experience of life so far, and I imagine it has been similar for most people.
I was born into a family of farmers, grape growers and winemakers in the wine region of Franconia (Bavaria), Germany. The predestined way for me was to take over our family's Estate Winery, yet I struggled with the traditional ways of living and working required to maintain the family business. I eventually decided to leave it behind to forge my own path.
Not long after walking away from the wine industry, though, I realized that the love for vineyards and winemaking still burned in me. Indeed, I hoped the day would come when I would have my own business. The years went by and I had the opportunity to work for various wineries in Germany and the USA. The experience that made the most lasting impression on me was the time as the winemaker for Anthony Road Wine Company on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes. The respect, trust and love the Martinis (the owners) showed me was simply remarkable and hard to find in this fast-changing world.
The true turning point and the biggest "construction site" in my life was (and still is) when my Lord Jesus knocked on the door of my heart in 2005. I didn't know that just living a traditional Christian life without a true heart and personal relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ would end in despair and disaster. I had no idea that He could love someone like me. Basically I even didn't want Him too much in my life to start with because I knew instantly that something would have to change if I open my heart to Him. His awesome love changed me and still does so anyway because He knows that a broken and sinful heart needs healing. That's why He came and died for the sins of everybody. Additional laws will never change the heart. They barely keep us straight. Everything I have ever experienced in my life pales in comparison to His love and forgiveness and the peace and freedom that comes with it. Having my hand in His through the calms and storms of life can't be bought at any price. To top it off, He "dropped" my girl Imelda into my life just shortly afterwards. Initially I had no interest in her because she was as cold as ice when we first met (I had hoped for a nice girl, not for an ice cube :), but the ice melted over time and we realized that we had many things in common. She is the woman of my life and I thank my Jesus for every single day we can spend time together.
What we have and who we are is given to us by His grace and love. We understand our role as stewards of our land, this business, and the responsibilities that come with it.
Our vision for Kemmeter Wines and Sans Dumplings is to "spoil" our guests with the best food and wine we can possibly offer and to make you feel welcome at our place.
I was born and raised on a tiny tropical island in Indonesia called Tebing Tinggi Island which is about 1% of the size of NYS. I still have wonderful, vivid memories of riding my bike to school and visiting the bustling wet market. Everything was so freshly made and prepared - fishes were the catch of the day, blocks of tempeh wrapped in banana leaves still have the residual fermentation heat, chicken was to be picked and butchered per order, and the varieties of colorful spices, fruits and vegetables stalls. It was a modest but beautiful place to grow up.
In 2001, I moved from Indonesia to the USA, the sunny state of California, for an undergraduate degree in Food Science and Technology. Then, in 2006, I was offered a graduate degree in Food Science & Technology at Cornell University. Who would have thought a girl who grew up on such a remote island would one day have the opportunity to study at such a prestigious university, and live in the beautiful Finger Lakes region? This was not the only blessing.
God had even more surprises in store for me: it was here, in the Finger Lakes, that I met my husband Johannes and built a life with him, melding the two different worlds in which we had grown up. We bonded over our shared Christian faith as well as a mutual interest in grapes and wines. At Cornell, my graduate field of study was grape and wine analyses, with my research focused on the development of analytical methods and problem-solving tools to help grow better grapes and make better wines. Coming from a wine-making family, Johannes taught me a great deal about grape-growing and wine-making from both theoretical and practical perspectives; in return, I helped him from the analytical perspective. We even had the opportunity to work together on one of my research projects on the issue of green bell pepper aroma in Bordeaux varieties.
Our collaboration deepened when, in 2017, I left my research career to work with Johannes at Kemmeter Wines. It definitely took some twists and turns to learn how to work in synergy as both husband and wife and business partners. Through the process, we have come to know each other better and now reap multiple benefits of working together. Just as I helped him in those early days to prune an entire six-acre vineyard by hand - just the two of us - Johannes helped me to start Sans Dumplings. He helped me realize that cooking is my gift.
We continue to work, build and grow side by side. On a daily basis, you will find me in the kitchen and Johannes in the vineyard, cellar, or tasting room. It has been a joy for us to run this kitchen along with the winery, complementing each other's efforts as partners in life and Faith.
We look forward to seeing you at both Sans Dumplings and Kemmeter Wines.
The family crest, which appears on our labels, was bestowed in 1438 by the Emperor Albrecht II, who ruled over Frankonia, Germany.
The 2 stars symbolize the fortune of this family while the wing of the eagle in red and black sitting atop on the crowned helmet reflects the rise and the strength of the family.
The family's estate was known by this name for generations until 1936, when it was changed to commemorate the union between the Kemmeter and Reinhardt families.