Dernau · Wine can be enjoyed around the clock in Dernau thanks to a wine vending machine. Wine lovers can access their favourite Ahr valley tipple at the Edeka-Ley supermarket, even outside opening hours.
Saturday afternoon or Sundays in the Ahr region - you fancy a glass of wine and your favourite wine store is closed. No problem. The Edeka-Ley supermarket in Dernau started offering wine around the clock a month ago. Thanks to a wine vending machine, those who fancy a drink can "pull" a bottle of red or white wine outside of business hours. Owner Eddy Ley is pleased with the response so far and hopes that his wine vending machine is secure against damage.
"Despite the fact that our target group of hikers, people at campsites and tourists in holiday apartments, is currently non-existent, the wine vending machine has been well received," says the 48-year-old from Dernau. The costs of acquiring the vending machine were in the price range of a "small car". Ley offers wines from local Dernau eight wineries. “That is important to me, we are here in Dernau and that is why I only wanted to sell wines from Dernau in the vending machine,” explains the trained retail salesman. The small but fine selection of Dernau wines consists of Rosé, Rivaner, Riesling, Blanc de Noir, Frühburgunder, Spätburgunder and Grauburgunder. These are slightly more expensive than in his wine store named ‘Lieblingstropfen’ (favourite drops). For the past year, he has been selling wines here by 22 vintners from the entire Ahr valley. The range in his wine vending machine also includes grape juice and mineral water. This way, children can also enjoy using the vending machine and get something to drink, he says.
Proof of age at the vending machine
The protection of minors is important to Eddy Ley and his vending machine has a so-called "age verification module". You can only purchase a bottle of wine with your ID card or driving licence. The vending machine will only release a bottle of wine when the card is swiped through the module. Although it is permitted to buy wine at the age of 16, you must be 18 years old to do so at Ley’s wine vending machine. “I don't want a father to come and tell me that his underage son bought a bottle of wine here and then had an accident, for example,” Ley explains. Proof of age is not required for the grape juice and mineral water.
In April, the wine vending machine belonging to the Mayschoss-Altenahr winegrowers' cooperative at the Saffenburg was damaged and has been out of operation for weeks. Ley is annoyed with what he calls “an idiotic action”. He explains that his vending machine has LED lighting and is thus brightly lit at night. The machine only takes card payments because “where there is cash, people like to break in”, and the machine has been installed in a place that is hopefully safe. “I once wanted to put a vending machine at the train station, but that would not be very safe. Particularly at night, there is a danger that someone will try to damage or break open the vending machine,” says Ley.
The station is also a meeting place for many people. In Dernau’s quiet main street you can “hear a pin drop at night”. If someone tampered with the vending machine, it would certainly be noisy and too risky for would-be criminals, the 48-year-old hopes.
The owners of Edeka-Ley, Daniela and Eddy Ley, have thought of everything: The wine vending machine also contains sparkling wine, secco and small 0.1 litre glasses. A corkscrew for the wine bottles hangs from a chain on the covered vending machine. And so there is nothing standing in the way of enjoying wine, even outside Edeka-Ley opening hours.
(Original text: Dirk Jäger, Translation: Caroline Kusch)