After school he has done his training as a wine grower and than he started his study in oenology in Geisenheim (Germany). Afterwords he worked in England for many years before he establishes his own vineyard in Bischoffingen (Germany).

After travelling around the world and visiting many wine regions he visited New Zealand. Impressed of the country and the people he realised fast that here in the Wairarapa would be a great climate and soil to produce great wine. Non sooner said than done 2001 Karl Johner established his second vineyard in Gladstone in the heart of the Wairarapa. Still looking for a different type of soil like in burgundy he was hunting together with Raphael Burki for a piece of land with this typical conditions.