Domaine Weinbach

I am sure that for most of you these wines need little introduction. The domaine’s 29 hectares are situated in the valley of Kayserberg. Around 10 ha are situated on the steep south-facing slopes of the Grand Cru Schlossberg, responsible for their wonderfully poised and elegant Rieslings. Their other Grand Crus include the Furstentum, Mambourg and Marckrain, which all possess marl, calcerous soils and best extol the virtues of the Gewurztraminer. The lieu-dit Altenbourg is located just beneath the Furstentum. The soil here is composed of limestone, clay and sand producing Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer which combine great finesse and intense richness. The Mambourg and Altenbourg vineyards are particularly well suited to Vendange Tardive and Selection Grains Nobles wines. The walled vineyard which surrounds the domaine, known as the Clos des Capucins, was first planted in 890 AD when the Empress Richarde gave it to the Abbey of Etival. Today all the Alsace varieties are grown on its early ripening terroirs of sand/silt soils on granite pebbles.

The Faller’s believe that great wine is made in the vineyards and their primary aim is to produce the best quality fruit possible. They have cultivated the vines organically for twenty years and first began to introduce biodynamic methods in 1998. The whole estate was certified in 2005. They feel that the change to biodynamic viticulture has improved the quality of flavours in the wines and the expression of the terroir. Yields are kept to a minimum by short pruning and they always wait for an optimum ripeness before hand picking the fruit. They seek a significant presence of botrytis even in the dry wines as they find this enhances the aromatic complexity and body of the wines.

With regards to vinification, as with all the greatest wines this is done with minimal intervention – but as they say, constant attention. The fruit is pressed very gently and slowly in whole clusters. Only natural yeasts are used for the fermentation and the wines are vinified in ancient foudre of 1,500 – 6,000 liters capacity. There is never any new oak as they want to preserve the purity of fruit.
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