Hans and Beatrice Rhyner
Wine luminary Hans Rhyner moves to Gonten
Hans Rhyner – New cellar master for the Hotel Bären
Together with his wife Beatrice, he wants to turn the restaurant Bärenstobe into the flagship of the wine scene.
Many people dream of turning their hobby into a career. Hans Rhyner has made it. His interest in exquisite wines and curiosity about their history became a great passion – and ultimately a profession.
An exotic in the world of wine
Until six years ago, the soon-to-be 66-year-old was a 100-percent train manager at SBB. In addition, with the support of his wife Beatrice, he has built up the wine cellars of renowned Swiss restaurants and turned them into places of pilgrimage for wine lovers from all over the world. Until the beginning of 2021, for example, he has compiled one of the most extensive and exclusive collections of rarities and treasures from all over Europe for the wine cellar of the Gasthaus zum Gupf Rehetobel over a period of 20 years.
Among many others, he also left his mark on the Swiss wine landscape at the Weiss Kreuz Malans from 2016 to 2018 with his exceptional sense for the interplay of the best culinary delights and outstanding wines. Furthermore, he takes great pleasure in maintaining the newly built wine cellar of Dorfhus Gupf Rehetobel, where Switzerland’s first Magnothek has been located since July 2020.
Stories behind the label
Hans Rhyner learned his craft autodidactically. Good food and a fine glass of wine have always been a pleasure for him. Gradually, his curiosity grew about how a good drop of wine is created. On many trips around the world, he has visited a wide variety of wineries, from large companies to the smallest. Through his open and outgoing nature, he learned a lot from the people behind the wines and was inspired. He quickly discovered that smaller estates, with their handiwork and heart and soul, particularly fascinate him. He has thus built up a wealth of experience, which he has shared and passed on over the past 20 years. This has benefited not only the numerous restaurants, but above all his guests.
You enjoy a wine differently when you know that the winemaker has harvested the grapes by fine manual labor on the steepest slopes, where the mule is the only means of transport.
Inspire connoisseurs and connoisseurs alike
To inspire others for his passion, to broaden horizons or simply to let them enjoy – all this without pretension – that’s what Hans Rhyner’s heart beats for. In addition to top restaurants, he has also curated the cellars of small mountain restaurants and inns.
For him, it’s not the price or the label that determines the quality of a wine. He sees the big picture. For him, an unforgettable evening is a combination of ambiance, culinary delights and individual wine selection. Whether it’s in the stylishly simple gourmet temple with skillfully reduced dishes, in the village pub with hearty specialties, or now in the atmospherically original Bären Gonten with traditional, modern-inspired creations – he finds the harmonious complement.
He likes to share his inspiration and the story behind the exquisite wines with his guests during cellar tours.
“For me, awards and prestige are not in the first place. Rather, I want to please people and share my impressions from my visits to the winemakers. You enjoy a wine differently when you know that the winemaker has harvested the grapes by hand on the steepest slopes, where the mule is the only means of transport,” Rhyner describes.
Crowning conclusion with great vision in the bear
Now he is very much looking forward to the new stage in Gonten and the collaboration with the two hosts and chefs Jürgen Schmid and Carlo Bet. Together with Beatrice Rhyner, he is entrusted with the development and extension of the wine cellar. The tasks in the Rhyner house are clearly distributed: Beatrice Rhyner keeps the threads together in the background, manages the administration and writes the cards. Hans Rhyner maintains close contacts with the winegrowers and is always on the lookout for new fine wines, because new discoveries are his focus.
His regular guests are already eagerly waiting to visit him at his new place of work and taste his latest trouvailles. From mid-April 2021, the first (hotel) guests will be able to enjoy the new wine list; until then, they will be busy tasting, experimenting, and fine-tuning. Thus, Rhyner’s wines provide the perfect setting for Schmid’s and Bet’s culinary paintings.