The name of the advertising mascot for Italian Swiss Colony wine producers in the 1960s. Dressed in an Alpine hat and lederhosen, veteran actor Ludwig Stössel portrayed the sweet “Little Old Winemaker” who was the TV spokesperson for their fine line of quality wines.
His closing catchphrase was “That little old winemaker, me!” The voice of the “Little Old Winemaker” was dubbed by Jim Backus.
Note: Established in 1881 by Italian Swiss immigrants, the now defunct Italian Swiss Colony winery, is an Historical Landmark (#621) in Asti, California in Sonoma County. In late 1953, Louis Petri bought Italian Swiss Colony from National Distillers. In the 1960’s, the Italian Swiss Colony tasting room received more than 10,000 visitors per year, with the ad campaign “Little old winemaker, me.” The Beringer Blass Wine Estates purchased the Italian Swiss Colony in 1988. Canandaigua Wine Company (CWC) bought ISC in 1990.
Ludwig Stössel played Otto Shafmeister on the November 2, 1963 episode “That Little Old Gluemaker, Me!” on the sitcom THE NEW PHIL SILVER SHOW.
In August 1967, Dean Martin recorded “Little Old Wine Drinker, Me” on Reprise Records. In 1968, actor Robert Mitchum recorded the song on the album “That Man Robert Mitchum…Sings.”
Born on February 12, 1883 in Lockenhaus, Austria, Ludwig Stössel died on January 29, 1973 in Beverly Hills California. He was cremated at Groman Mortuary in Hollywood Forever Funeral Home and Cemetery. His ashes were sent to Vienna, Austria.