Travel wineries to visit in Alsace?

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Mark Temple, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. As I am pretty clueless about the region, I shall as usual beg for WP expertise for an address or two for my parents to visit in June. I think they are mostly in the Vosges, so I guess it should be on that side of things. Good value is their thing, so I guess not superstellar estates where there isn't going to be anything interesting under 15 euros or so. They speak good French, btw.

    Thanks :)
  2. Most of the wine villages and vineyards are on the eastern slopes and plains of the Vosges, running mainly north to south. Do you know where they will be based or have transport and be happy to travel up and down?
    If they're not wanting too spend to much then many of the caves co-ops should serve them well with half decent wines at very decent prices and excellent tasting facilities.
  3. Thanks, Paul. Will ask where exactly, but they camp so they do move around. I guess I was looking for something better than the coops - usually seems to be quite possible in Loire, Bojo, S Rhone, L-R and south west. Maybe not here? I was thinking good estates who have well-priced Sylvaners, Pinot Blancs, etc as well as the more expensive wines.
  4. In my limited experience the coops are likely to offer far better wine than many growers with really inexpensive wine to sell.
  5. Some of the co-ops can be pretty good though, Mark. Turckheim and Le Roi Dagobert are the only two I have experience of and they make excellent everyday drinking wines for a few euros (and that includes Riesling). For growers who provide excellent value, across a good range, then there's Dirler-Cade in Bergholtz and Bruno Sorg in Eguisheim. D-C would probably need a call beforehand but you should be able to just turn up at Sorg.
  6. Sorg is a good call because they have a range at different prices. D-C make superb wines in the drier style, and as Mark C will attest, make the best value dry Muscat in Alsace.

    The Eguisheim coop (Wolfberger) may be scoffed at but they sell both Eguisheim Grand Crus at reasonable prices, and if they want a taste of affordable SGN... They also sometimes sell museum release vintages.

    The Rolly Gassmans are good, no Grand Crus but all wines are great value. But tastings here tend to be long and generous (appointments necessary as with most domaines).

    Hugel in Riquewihr should not be discounted(??).

    The region is very elongated. Although travelling the wine route isn’t as arduous as in Burgundy, there can be a line of cars in summer. If they are staying in the north of the “wine” region (as we did last year, now very much my preferred option), they may need other equally good but different recs.

    If staying a while then could consider a trip to Freiburg (-Im-Breisgau) via the Kaiserstuhl for Baden wines and cake! Of course they use the same money and drive on the same side of the road in Germany ;).

    Colmar has lots of nice places to sit outside for a simple lunch, and if they want a bit of cultural recreation, the Unterlinden Museum there is a fine way to spend half a day.

    People recommend all sorts of places to eat but many small towns will have a great value Weinstube for some trad nosh and a glass of Silvaner or Pinot Blanc etc. I’m guessing they’d prefer that to Michelin?

    But knowing where they will stay may result in some more local recs.
    Neil Holland likes this.
  7. The coops in Alsace (as in Alto-Adige) tend to be pretty good, and are often more geared up for a Tasting than smaller producers. I’ve been to several where the producer may find it less easy talking to “non-geeks”. Turkheim is perhaps the classic (and their Crémant is, or certainly was when last tried, pretty decent too, if they like fizz).

    In that respect, maybe scratch my Rolly-Gassman rec because although there is value and quality, there may be a bit of disappointment if your folks don’t want to plough through, and discuss the nuances in, a couple of dozen cuvées.
  8. Thanks, Dave - will try and find out exactly where they're going!
  9. What are Barmes Buecher like these days ? Always used to be excellent value.
  10. Not visited for some years, not since the tragic accident. Richer style, generally, which suits me less these days. The Liementhal lieu-dit Riesling remains excellent value.
  11. I think Joseph Cattin outside Eguisheim fits the bill perfectly, Mark. They have a brand new tasting facility where you can have lunch on the veranda overlooking the vines. The range is broad and well made, and the more than decent grand crus will set them back about 10 Euros cellar door.
  12. Sylvie Spielmann well worth a visit. Deiss without the price!
  13. Really? We just rocked up a couple of years ago, with no problems at all. I thought that was how R-G always worked - both from personal observation and talking to other people. The tasting area is massive - basically you stand around in one of their warehouses. But maybe you get a more intimate experience if you book...?
  14. Maybe. We tasted in the underground cellar near the church, with some Japanese people, so maybe seven people in total. We were offered the whole range and I don’t remember the room being really big, though not small.
  15. Rolly-G wines tend to have a fair bit of residual sugar, no? Not sure this will go down well ;)

    Looks like Eguisheim might be a good spot to focus on. I'll find out where they're going exactly.
  16. I'm considering a trip there myself (probably staying in Eguisheim or maybe Colmar), though not quite decided yet.

    I haven't visited, but I would imagine a visit to Léon Beyer might be worthwhile -- provided you like the house style, of course.

    Anybody know how Kuentz-Bas is doing these days?
  17. Domaine Ernest Burn in the attractive village of Gueberschwihr have brilliant and individualistic wines, no longer available in UK. The next village is Niedermorschwihr so you can call at Joseph Cattin on the way for modestly priced wine. If you go to Bruno Sorg in Eguisheim you might also try Paul Ginglinger and Josef Gruss. Katzenthal is in a side valley near Ingersheim and Meyer-Fonne is worth visiting there. There is also a good producer of Gewurz and Pinot Noir called Rene Meyer. They are the house wines at l'Agneau restaurant next door and, if the restaurant prices are indicative, excellent value. Unfortunately I haven't managed to get there when they are open. Some good producers of white wines don't seem to have got the hang of barrique aged Pinot Noir yet. Marc Tempe of Zellenberg (like Fonne) is an exception. I had this wine at Wistub du Sommelier in Bergheim. The wine list is terrific. If you go there (convenient for Marcel Deiss and Sylvie Spielmann) don't order any wines: ask Madame to choose a glass for each course - a great way of finding excellent producers unknown to you (unfortunately the excellent chef/owner died last year, but it's still worth going to). If you're coming over the Vosges to the wine region you'll pass Kaisersberg; just beyond it is the pretty village of Kientzheim where you'll find Paul Blanck. Good wines in the mid-price range.

    I can confirm that I've been to Rolly Gassmann's many times and never booked in advance. If you want to go to Zind-Humbrecht you won't get a tasting unless you've booked in advance, but be warned, the wines are even more expensive there than they are in England.
  18. Really have to arrange a visit to the region... Sound fab.
  19. Turkheim coop might be another option. Did I already mention Turkheim?
  20. ...but Mr Crann has several excellent options, for me especially Ginglinger, Sorg and Blanck.

    I have only been to R-G once so apologies for my recommendation to book.

    You used to be able to get takeaway Baekehoffe (okay, almost certainly misspelled) from the butcher near the little Château in the centre of Eguisheim. Take away in a earthenware trad tureen, bring back next day. Wonder whether they still do it?
  21. Anybody here visited Kientzler?
  22. Dirler Cade in Bergholz.

    Very friendly - presumably retired from the hard graft of the vigneron. Difficult to get away before the number of wines tasted is in double figures, even if you don't intend to buy a great deal. In fact having a large number of wines is to taste is a common challenge when visiting growers and then you have the challenge of choosing which to buy.

    +1 to Turckheim for their range and for vfm, The tasting experience is inevitably somewhat impersonal, though, which may be fine for non-geeks. FWIW, Staub (Le Crueset competitor) have (or had) a factory shop in the town, although these days, they seem to be much more ambitious in their retail pricing.
  23. I'll piggy-back onto the questions here: any producers that are especially strong on the red wine front?
  24. Paging Mr. Crossley. Paging........
    Stefan Bogdanski likes this.
  25. Not tried many but the Rolly-Gassmann Pinots Noirs are very good. The PNs from the co-op Roi de Dagobert are also very palatable. However i would be careful about which vintages you go for as Alsace is pretty far north for the PN grape so you should go for years where the grapes ripened well.
    Stefan Bogdanski likes this.

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