“The ultimate “garage” winery, this operation’s back alley warehouse looks like a set scene from the movie Mad Max, but inside are the elixirs of dreams.”, Robert Parker Jr. (June 2008).


A question that may lead to several nights of hearty conversation and few bottles left opened is this: is wine considered an art? The ongoing debate for such a simple question resulted to some fascinating and interesting perspective. But why would this topic even have surfaced from the beginning? What does wine have to do with the expression of what is aesthetically sound or pleasant?


Well, wine in anyway is always a pleasant company.


As Dr. Fritz Allhoff expounds in his book entitled ‘Wine & Philosophy: A Symposium on Thinking and Drinking’, “For example, we uncontroversially regard paintings as art-objects, and we think that viewing paintings can be an aesthetic experience. However, can wine be such an object? For various reasons, philosophers, including Plato, have been reluctant to ascribe aesthetic status to objects that engage certain sensory modalities, such as taste. Other sorts of art, such as painting and symphony, are accessed through different sense modalities (i.e., sight and hearing) and, so various philosophical arguments have gone, are therefore entitled to aesthetic status in ways that wine (or, more traditionally, food) is not”. Given this fundamental explanation, it seems food and drink were never really thought of as something like works of art. It does not help that there are winemakers that heavily rely on modern faculty of machineries and apply unique technology that wines are viewed as a result of pure science.


However, how do you define the timely manner, the specific method, and personal style of each winemaker as they painstakingly craft their wine and seal into well-designed bottles? Isn’t it a form of art where one applies his or her own approach of what is aesthetically pleasing? The word ‘aisthtikos’, from which the German word ‘aesthetic’ came from, means to perceive or be sensitive of things through the senses or mind. This alone can be an indicator that any good sensorial experience, sight, feeling, or even taste is art. As what is seen on the online version of Cambridge dictionary, aesthetic relates to showing something of beauty and the enjoyment of it.


Now the idea of what is beauty is relative, but the important thing in here is that we would like to say that for us wine is also an art — a tasteful, tangible art.


Behind SQN


Enter the husband and wife tandem, Manfred and Elaine Krankl, owners of the acclaimed wine Sine Qua Non [BUY NOW]. As the artists and crafters of one of the most coveted wines in the world, the couple is a testament that art has no boundaries.


After stints with various restaurants and hotels, Manfred started to open up his own businesses: a bakery and a restaurant. Applying his knowledge and skills gained while working in various countries, both of these companies flourished over the years. The next logical thing for someone like Manfred who worked as a sommelier is to produce wines.


With experience working on smaller wine projects, the Krankl couple finally opened up their own winery, Sine Qua Non, and called their maiden wine ‘Queen of Spades’. Starting out small and relying mostly on each other, it seemed like a crazy idea to produce wine without any help. But they proved everything is possible with guts, determination, taking risks, and straight eye on the goal. As Manfred shared on one of his interviews quoting Zhuangzi (Chinese Philosopher) “When an archer is shooting for nothing, he has all the skill. If he shoots for a brass buckle, he is already nervous. If he shoots for a prize of gold, he goes blind or sees two targets – he is out his mind! His skill has not changed. But the prize divides him. He cares. He thinks more of the winning than the shooting – and the need to win drains him of power”.


So what is their secret to make things work all these years? Aside from the innate style for art and the developed skills over the years. Well, we see that this husband and wife winemaker also cherishes like-minded people who are as passionate as them and who they consider as a trustworthy team.  As Manfred says in another interview, “The best part of this, to be honest, is, again, the people. … They see the whole process; … How it all comes together. That’s certainly beautiful.” Elaine agrees, stating that they found a great group of people who they can confidently collaborate with for all the vintages they make. 


Bottled Art


A revered winemaker, Manfred is also an artist in his own way. Each vintage of Sine Qua Non is truly distinct — from the labels to its taste. Each one is a self-declared homologous of a Pandora box antithesis. Only the good stuff full of whimsies and surprises.


An artefact on its own, Sine Qua Non reflects the aesthetic principle of Manfred. The brand is his way of sharing what is art to him while capturing the uniqueness of their vineyards and beauty that is wine. It takes more than just labour for this brand; it is the ardent passion, fondness to share their love for what is art for them, inquisitive drive, the artisanal touch, and the synergy to bring to the world stellar wines.


It is no surprise that millions of vino lovers await the release of their new vintage. This year is no different. Another marvel from Manfred and Elaine Krankl, the 2015 Sine Qua Non [BUY NOW] takes us to another magnificent sensorial journey.


The 2015 Sine Qua Non will be arriving in February. Pre-orders are already coming in for this wonderful vintage. The following allocations are available in a limited basis.


2015 Sine Qua Non Syrah Trouve L’Arene (75 cl) RP 100 [BUY NOW – PRESALE]


"This supermodel of a wine, if nothing else, is an orgy of the palate. The partners in that orgy are 80.5% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah, 7% Mourvedre, 2% Grenache and an aroma lifting, sexy, co-fermented 3.5% Viognier. All of the fruit was tenderly grown at three of our Estate vineyards”


2015 Sine Qua Non Grenache Le Chemin Vers L’Heresie (75 cl) RP 98+ [BUY NOW – PRESALE]

"The cuvee is a paganistic marriage of 75% Grenache, 13% Mourvedre, 8% Touriga Nacional (The Man made a mistake here – this should have been a Rhone variety) and 4% Petite Sirah. We used 44% whole clusters to ferment this beauty. This mama is surprisingly dark for Grenache."

Note that the 2015 Sine Qua Non large formats and Patine Estate sets will be available on Auction on stock arrival.Excited? We are!

For other wine selections, head on to our Buy Now store.