Making a Habit of Excellence – Crémant d’Alsace by Jean-Claude Buecher

Making decent Crémant d’Alsace takes dedication and years of singleminded practice. Jean-Claude Buecher has what it takes.

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Maison F. E. Trimbach, Ribeauvillé

The Trimbach family and their distinctive timbered and turreted property seem so firmly anchored in Ribeauvillé that it’s easy to suppose they must have been here for ever. The celebrated dynasty has indeed been based in Alsace for centuries: the first Jean Trimbach came originally from the eponymous town in Switzerland, arriving at the beginning…

Alsace Wines: Dry, Sweet or Somewhere in-between?

The vexed question of sweetness in Alsace wines refuses to lie down – it’s been the subject of vigorous and enlightening discussion in recent French Wine Society forums in connection with the Alsace Masters-Level Program currently running, headed by Thierry Meyer. Here’s the nuts-and-bolts of a piece I wrote for Decanter in 2009. Sadly, the picture hasn’t changed much…

Domaine Hering, Barr

Squeezing into the courtyard of Domaine Hering right on the narrow main street of Barr at the northern end of  the Route des Vins is a ticklish business. “Pour les vendanges,” admits Fabienne Hering rufeully, “c’est un peu rock-and-roll!”. If it’s hard to navigate with a car, I can’t imagine what it must be like…

Vins d’Alsace Schoenheitz, Wihr-au-Val

Wihr-au-Val, a small village that lies just off the main road leading from Colmar up to the Munster Valley, feels like an unlikely place to find fine wines. Here the broad, flat-bottomed valley is vividly green, fringed alternately by vineyards — some of which climb to altitudes of 500 metres — and steeply rising forests of mixed broadleaf…

French Wine Society – New Alsace Master-level Program

The French Wine Society, based in France and Washington DC, is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for a series of wine study programs, both at scholar and masters level, as well as study trips to selected French wine regions. Their newest is the Alsace Master-level program, created jointly by the French Wine Society and Alsace resident and expert,…

Domaine Agapé, Riquewihr

Vincent Sipp left the family winery Sipp-Mack in Hunawihr in 2007 and set up shop on his own at Domaine Agapé on the edge of the village of Riquewihr. According to my dictionary, the word agape means variously: ‘a state of wonder or amazement’, or ‘love’ or even ‘a meal celebrated as a sign of…

Domaine Paul Blanck, Kientzheim

Here’s the first of what I hope will be loads of posts on Alsace Wine Travel. I’m in the process of updating my Alsace sections for Wine Travel Guides, a pleasurable task that I fit in around general writing, travel and food assignments and one that will be spilling out onto these pages. To explain…