Helmuth Koecher was born in Meran in 1959 and entered the world of wine in 1989 when during one of his travels, he discovered Bordeaux.
Intrigued by wine and the fascinating history, tradition, and innovations surrounding it, Helmuth immediately started to organize wine tastings and events in the highest quality restaurants of the South Tyrol region of Italy. These rendezvous and tastings soon began to stand out in the food & wine panorama for their consistent growth and excellence. In 1992, Three years after his first foray into the world of wine, Helmuth worked with two friends to found GourmetClub Alto Adige, later known as Gourmet’s International, and create the first edition of the Merano WineFestival, a prestigious event that has occurred annually since.
From those early days of the festival, Helmuth has presented to international committees on the Mediterranean diet, organized tasting panels, and managed food &wine events. He has also contributed to various international magazines, such as Der Feinschmecker, Decanter, and Fine Wine Encounter. Helmuth is also an active member of several prestigious associations, including FIC (Fondazione Italiana Cuochi), and is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.
In 1999, he published 4 volumes in Italian and German: Grappa, Aceto (Vinegar), Olio (Oil), and Formaggio (Cheese). With a mind full of new ideas and projects, he founded the European Gourmet Academy, which serves to instruct new arrivals in the food and wine industries in both technique and excellence.
In 2013, Helmuth created the Merano Wine and Culinaria Award (which since 2017 is called the WineHunter Award), a grand gastronomic and oenological concourse that attracts over 5000 participants each year. This year’s award is the result of months of careful selection for the 2017 edition of the Merano WineFestival.
“The WineHunter is: research, discovery, and the sharing of excellence, born from the perfect marriage between the past and the future; Only the best, in every shade.”