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uni'alumni 2015_ENG

All Janina Huhn really wants to do is get to know something completely dif- ferent. She grows up in the Palatinate wine region. Her father is a winemaker, “but what one has at home is usually a bit boring.” So she comes to Freiburg after finishing school and studies his- tory, philosophy, and Latin. She enjoys the open atmosphere at the university and falls in love with the old town, espe- cially the cathedral. “Freiburg is the perfect university town,” she says – and yet it is there, far from home, that she discovers her true passion: wine. She switches to the University of Heidelberg, near her homeland Palati- nate, and makes the world of wine into her hobby: She reads specialist litera- ture, takes seminars, does an intern- ship at a winery. For her bachelor’s thesis, she writes about the cultural history of wine in ancient Athens. As the Wine Princess of Bad Dürkheim she opens village festivals, gives her first ad-libbed speeches on a stage, and realizes: “I’m pretty good at it and it’s a lot of fun.” So she carries on as before, is crowned Wine Queen of the Palatinate, and then, in September 2014, wins the election for the 66th German Wine Queen. In the coming year, Janina Huhn will advertise German wine at 250 events around the world. “Now I’ll really be able to live out my passion.” She sees her humanities degree as a valuable asset: “The combination of history, an- cient languages, and wine culture is very fruitful for advertising.” The 25-year-old sees herself remaining in the wine industry in the future, probably in marketing and event management. And what is her favorite wine? Riesling, she says – but then adds, with a nod to Baden, “pinot noir is also great.” Nicolas Scherger back to what I had originally wanted to do. It has been a great stroke of luck for me. I love my homeland Baden, but the region is fragile. Our garden is a manifesto against the destruction of our landscape. How would you describe your work today? I’m an art consultant. I like bringing works of art to the place where they actually belong. A few years ago I was hired by the owner of Casanova’s manuscripts to find a new home for them. The manu- scripts are worth many millions and are written in French, according to Casanova the only language that understands love. So I approached the French National Library. There were endless negotia- tions, until I said: Humans are made up of mind and something else. The country of the 18th century is France. Its mind is Voltaire, the other thing Casanova. You have the chance to unite the literary re- mains of the two in your library. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll have to offer Casa- nova’s manuscripts to someone who doesn’t understand anything about sen- suality – the then Italian president Silvio Berlusconi. Shortly afterwards we came to an agreement. Today the manuscripts are kept in Paris. Similarly, I succeeded in arranging for the manuscripts of the travel journals of Alexander von Humboldt to be sold to the Berlin State Library in 2013. That’s where I think they belong. What kind of art do you prefer to own rather than sell? I regard my art collection as a journal. I have purchased works in different places, recently, for instance, a drawing in Stock- holm. When I look at them, I always think back to the place and the event in Sweden. In this way, I see my life in stages – in the form of art at my homes. What do you see as true art? The main purpose of art is to change the way we look at things. Listening to a piano concerto by Beethoven allows us to think and feel other things than sitting in front of the television. This confrontation with the world in literature, music, and the fine arts enables education in the sense that something is formed inside of us. The most beautiful thing in life is to love and to learn, to learn and to love. Traveling the World for Wine PORTRAIT Happy monarch: Janina Huhn was elected as the 66th German Wine Queen in September 2014. Photo: uni'alumni 2015 Alumni Network 13