Friday, August 30, 2013

Domaine Weinbach, Kaysersberg, Alsace

Domaine Weinbach was the first winery I visited on my tour of Alsace. It is just outside the center of the village Kaysersberg which is worth a visit but bring a 2 euro coin for the parking. (I had to go run and buy a 30cent postcard and paid with a 5euro bill....the lady was not happy with me).

The Domaine is run by a mother and two sisters, Colette, Catherine and Laurence Faller. Established in 1612 by Capuchin monks who worked the land cultivating grapes and making wine. In 1898 the Domaine was acquired by the Faller brothers, has stayed in the family ever since and make a number of cuvees with the names of family members, including the father Theo.

If you read my post about the the Alsace wine region you may remember that a number of producers practice biodynamic farming and winemaking. I would like to take a shot at describing the basics of Biodynamics.

Biodynamics is possible in Alsace because of their warm and dry climate. The primary principle in the vineyard is to work the soil to it best potential so the vine can get as close to its natural environment and produce aromatically complex grapes and wines. Pesticides are forbidden so how do you get the best possible soil and fruit? Through the use of products made from vegetal, animal and mineral origins (eg. nettle, willow, camomile, manure, silica). These products are applied according to the sun and moon cycles. This is labour intensive work and the grapes must be picked by hand. In the winery grapes go through a gentle pressing, long fermentation's with natural yeasts therefore creating pure and natural wines. What is really cool is after you open a bottle, it will keep for 8 days!

Now for some winery and bottle shots, with a photo of my dinner that night: Alsacian classic, Chocroute Garnie:)

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