Entrepreneur, out of passionate conviction

Leo HILLINGER is an entrepreneur whose heart beats for viticulture. Many times lauded, both as an entrepreneur and as a winegrower, he leads his internationally renowned operation with passion and commitment. Today, the wine estate cultivates over ninety hectares of vineyards, and its wines are exported to thirty countries all over the world. In this, Leo HILLINGER has remained faithful. As a winegrower, as an entrepreneur and as an ambassador for his region.

From the vision to the goal

Every great idea starts with a vision. Paired with an unconventional path and a network that has grown over the years. Leo HILLINGER has consistently pursued his vision: to vinify top wines, and do so as closely as possible to nature. The fact that the path has branched out over the years also speaks for his vision. And so Leo HILLINGER is not ‘just’ a winemaker today. He is an investor and marketing strategist as well; he not only devotes a lot of time to sporting activities, but is also involved with the bike shop Mountainbiker.at [at the lake] and the winery Constantia Glen in South Africa.

The dream of
the wine estate

He spent his first years of apprenticeship at European domains and Californian wineries, after which Leo HILLINGER laid the cornerstone for his success with the purchase of twelve hectares of vineyards: for him at the time a small kingdom. From 2004 onwards, everything happened quite fast: the construction and opening of the estate in Jois was followed by the first of Leo HILLINGER’s Wineshop & Bar Locations – today there are three in Austria plus one in the Bavarian capital Munich. Leo HILLINGER got a foothold in South Africa in 2012, becoming involved with the winery Constantia Glen in the same year that Ernst & Young named him ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’.

Reinvesting

There came the day when the wine estate was fully funded. A moment that finally allowed the entrepreneur Leo HILLINGER to take a deep breath and exhale. And at the same time it also inspired him to new ideas and investments. Ongoing reinvestment in the winery set the course toward expansion. The cellar should remain one of the most modern in Austria, where – under the guidance of recognised industry professionals – exceptional wines are vinified.

What counts
is quality

Today, HILLINGER cultivates more than ninety hectares of vineyards. The Leo HILLINGER estate has became one of the largest upper echelon wineries in Austria. And Leo HILLINGER is a sought-after entrepreneur whose quality standards have remained the same throughout the years: ‘The fruit must be perfect and should remain so, on its way, unchanged, into the bottle’. First-class quality in every respect. Leo HILLINGER continues to follow this guiding principle with unerring consistency. And today the estate exports fifty per cent of its wines all over the world.

Business angel
on TV

In 2015, Leo HILLINGER became an investor in the Puls-4 TV show ‘2 Minutes – 2 Million’. With this, he has helped startups get off the launch pad, and used his network to assist them. For economically interesting ideas as well as for social projects. For the series ‘Village Needs Innkeeper – the Great Tavern Revival’, he found himself travelling around Austria for some thirty days in 2015 and 2016. And together with Puls-4 he created his own programme format, ‘Austria’s Next Top Winemaker’.

So far, in the past five seasons nearly 240 candidates have been given the opportunity to convince investors about their business idea within two minutes. In total, an impressive 35 million euros in cash and media were invested in these domestic start-ups.