In the Vineyard and in the Cellar

Since 1999 the 25 hectares (62 acres) of our family estate have been farmed organically. Priority is given to tilling and to dense planting (about 10,000 plants per hectare or 2.5 acres), which encourages the vines to put down deep roots and stimulates biological activity in the soil.

Thanks to their deep roots, the vines are able to absorb precious mineral elements from the subsoil. These bear the unique imprint of the terroir and contribute to the pronounced minerality of our estate wines. 

Vines are cane-pruned (single or double Guyot) and low yielding (from 30-45 hl/ha), the latter a contributory factor in allowing the grapes to confer on the wine the true expression of our terroir. 

Harvesting is done entirely by hand and grapes are sorted in the vineyard. They are then transported in crates no bigger than 20kg-capacity so as to avoid squashing. The whole bunches are then tipped gently (without crushing or destemming) into the press.

The extra care entailed in applying biodynamic practices throughout the vineyards (horn manure, horn silica, horsetail, compost etc.) contributes to healthy, well aerated soils, as well as to increased flora and fauna and the general well-being of the vines, resulting in the remarkable harmony which characterises the wines of Clos Saint Landelin.

The estate’s 25 hectares (62 acres) have both biodynamic (Demeter) and organic (Ecocert) certification, demonstrating that no chemical or synthetic products are used.

In winemaking, this is the year of harvest of the grapes used to produce wine. The vintage, which expresses the climatic conditions of the year is an important benchmark for judging the quality of a wine. It is usually indicated on the label on the bottle label, except for the wines of average quality.




The Vintage 2017

The climate :
The winter 2016/2017 is relatively dry and chill. After a period of cold marked in January, February and March are milder. The spring is premature and the bud burst of the vineyard begins at the end of March. Contrary to all expectations, frost takes place in the week after Easter, by April 20th. In the early morning, we can only notice the damages: one plot of Chardonnay, supposed to be a major grape variety in the Cremant of Alsace, is completely affected as well as some parcels of Gewurztraminer at the bottom of the hills. There will be no harvest this year in this plot.

The harvests :
From the middle of May, the weather is dry and hot. If the flower goes well at the beginning of June, a period of drought settles down. Fortunately, the ploghings made for years pulled the roots deeply in the soil and that’s the reason why the vines do not suffer that much. At the end of August the heat wave accelerates the maturity of the grapes: the harvest begins very early, on August 30th.

The wines :
In October, harvests continue with successive sorts for late harvests. If Clos St Landelin often gives crystallized and complex late harvests in Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer, it also offers this vintage a well-made Riesling late harvest and a Muscat all in elegance.

The Vintage 2016

The climate :
In 2016, the cold weather is very late (the season's first snows appear only mid-January) but runs until the end of March. The plants follow a normal rythm and bud burst begins early April. The beginning of the vegetal cycle is dominated by heavy rainfalls and by alternative periods of warm and cold weather. Flowering begins early June and is very irregular according to the grape varieties. The rainy conditions lead to considerable pressure from cryptogamic disease and the vineyard working team is actively sought. As a complement to copper and sulphur, we use herbal teas: horsetail as each year but also buckthorn. It allows the plant to evolve healthily.

From the end of July, the weather suddenly changes. The high humidity is replaced by a hot and dry period. Some vines are getting blocked and the grapes don't evolve any more. We will have to wait mid-September for the maturity to start again.

The harvests :
The harvest is long this year, with a lot of stops between the different grape varieties and terroirs. It began on September the 14th with the chardonnay grapes for our Crémant "Grand Millésime". The pinots noirs grapes are harvested at the end of September.
The wines :
Unlike other regions, quantities are good in Alsace. Quality is showing very well so far and that is the most important. Pinots noirs, rieslings and pinots gris are fine and elegant, in a dry style. The difficulty of this vintage was to do Vendanges Tardives or Selection de Grains Nobles due to blockages of ripeness.

The Vintage 2015

The climate :

The winter 2014/2015 begins with a mild weather in November and December. Only January is chilly. March is sunnier with cool days (around 15°C) and fresh nights (around 0°C). We can see the first buds at the middle of april and the spring is mild and sunny. The vines grow up quickly and the season starts well. Even if June has a gloomy weather, the summer is scorching. The vines of the Clos Saint Landelin are used to those dry periods. At the middle of July, a storm brings just enough water to avoid dryness damages. It brings also hail that makes injuries to the pinots noirs of the Clos Saint Landelin and to the vines of the Steinstuck. The vines develop properly after all.

The harvests :
This hot weather forces us to harvest early, around the 3th of September, with Chardonnays and Rieslings for the Crémant d’Alsace « Grand Millésime ». We can calmly work and harvest pure and great grapes with a good maturity. Even if the weather starts to get bad, the grapes remain healthy and the main part of the harvest ends on October 13th. The gewurztraminers and the muscats for vendanges tardives are picked up between the 4th and the 9th of November, with a very nice weather.

The wines :

The 2015 vintage is charming, with crunchy aromas of fruits and lovely maturity. The wines from the Steinstuck are typical, with aromas of chalk and fresh pear. The wines from the Côte de Rouffach are bright and crispy. Their aromas of citrus fruits are delightful. The white grapes and the pinot noir reveal the power and the elegance of the Clos Saint Landelin.

The Vintage 2014

The climate :
The winter 2013/2014 is sweet and sunny: we observe only one day of frost and snow in November and never after. Therefore, the spring is early: almond trees flourish at the middle of March, we can see the first bud of vine since March 25th, one month in advance. The flowering at the end of May is also early. The searing heat causes bad flowering for muscat and pinot noir. The weather is so dry that we have to irrigate the young plants.

The harvests :
The harvest begins the 9th of September with chardonnay for Crémant d’Alsace « Grand Millésime ». The development of a little fly called Drosophile suzukii surprises us. It drills the berries and eat it. The only solution is to select, by hand, only the good berries. It’s a hard work for the people in the vineyard. We never need so many people to harvest! We loose a big part of the grapes: the yield for pinot noir and gewurztraminer is only 20 hl/ha. The 15th of October we are relieved to finish.

The wines :
The wines from 2014 have good acidities with nice aromas of fresh fruits. The riesling present minerality as the sylvaner, especially the one from the Steinstuck. The pinot gris are delightful with firmness. The gewurztraminers are also fruity, fresh and spicy. The Clos Saint Landelin offers two great successes with the dry wines (riesling and pinot gris). Finally, in spite of little quantities, the Muscat Vendanges Tardives Clos Saint Landelin is fine and delicate, long and full. It’s a great wine for a long ageing.

The Vintage 2013

The climate :
The beginning of the year is rainy and snowy. We have a cold weather until mid march and still snow at the 28th. In January and February, it is impossible to do the mechanic work of the soils, but the frost helps to breaking the big clods of earth. The budburst starts on the 17th of April, a consistent date with the average dates in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Spring is rainy, mainly May where we have 20 days of rain in 31, this requires us to be very vigilant towards cryptogamic diseases. Luckily, the warmth and the sun come in June. The flowering begins on the 15th of June, which means later than these last years.
The summer is also very sunny which lets hope a good quality for the grapes.

The harvests :
Harvest are going well in good conditions, with mild weather and a few showers without gravity. The harvest last one month from the 24th of September. The 2013 vintage is one of the latest of these 10 last years. Thanks to a neat sorting, some damaged grapes can be removed and we keep only pures and concentrated grapes.


The wines :

The wines of the 2013 vintage highlight nice fruits aromas, an obvious greed but also a minerality and an interesting acidity level. The ageing potential is important, above all for the wines of the Clos Saint Landelin. The Pinot Noir are remarquables, with elegants tannins and a tight body. The rieslings are straight and offer a good tension. For our first vintage with the biodynamic certification (Demeter), the biodynamic principles allow us to express the best complexity of the terroirs with respecting the grapes.

The Vintage 2012

The climate :
2012 winter finishes with a dry and mild weather: some temperatures registered in March are around 20°C. The bud burst of the vine begins at the end of March. The vegetation slows down in April under wet and fresh conditions. The first flowers are found on Mai 25th. June is hot and rainy, with hail-storm on June 30th. The pinots noirs planted on the tableland of the Clos Saint Landelin are touched. July is also rainy. The pressure of mildew is important with attack on grapes, especially on the pinots. During the harvest, we will have to sort the pinots noirs. The purpose is to eliminate the spoiled berries. After this selective picking, the yield of the pinots noirs from the Clos Saint Landelin will only be around 22 hl/ha !

The harvests :
The grape berries change of color at the middle of July. The maturation of the grapes is done during August, with hot and dry weather. Fortunately, after the beginning of September, the nights are cool. They allowed a slow end of maturation of the grapes and the preservation of the aromas and of the freshness. The harvests begin with the chardonnays for Crémant d’Alsace on September 11th.

The wines :
2012's vintages are fines, with a nice freshness and with fruity and elegant aromas. The pinots noirs are particularly racy. The “V” and the Clos Saint Landelin have a good ageing potential.

The Vintage 2011

The climate :
After an hard beginning, the winter finished with mildness. The 2011 spring was exceptionally sunny, warm, early and dry. We had some temperatures at 25°C early April (instead of 10°C usually) ! We had only 30 to 40 mm of waterfall between beginning of January and April : it was very very low. The vine opened out at 1st of April, with three weeks in advance. The risk of mildew and powdery mildew was very low. The tender was different in July, with fresh temperatures for summer and rain. This rainy and cloudy weather helped to save the vintage from dryness. We had some warm days in August: it dried the spots of botrytis.

The harvests :
They began on August 29th with pinots noirs. Once again very early compare to the average! But with the global warming, the “average” is changing and the vine-grower is the witness of all these changes. The weather was warm and dry during harvest period. We finished harvesting on October 4th.

The wines :
They shows a good finesse with a good balance. The wines are fruity and generous. The red wines are a good success: the structures are fine and elegant, with firm tannins.

The Vintage 2010

2010 is an exciting vintage !
During this year, the work of the vinegrower was essential and, despite some fears, the vintage finished well with an Indian summer.

Spring and summer :
After a long and cold winter, as we had in the 70’s and 80’s, the vine opened out at the middle of April. It’s later than in the previous vintages but in the average of the 80’s. May and June were cool and rainy. The blooming took place around June 10th. This fresh weather limited the normal fertilization (flower abortion) especially for the grapes-varieties gewurztraminer and muscat. In this way, at “Domaine du Clos St Landelin”, the vines of muscat gave very few grapes and the one of gewurztraminer only one third of the normal quantity. The others grapes-varieties produced one quarter less than usually. This wet spring favoured the growth of the fungus powdery mildew and mildew. The vinegrower –and especially the vinegrower in organic production – had to be observant and adaptable. We used alternative methods (decoction of prele, silica…) to consolidate the natural defense system of the vine.

The harvest :
The harvest began on September 14th and finished on October 15th. They were half less long than usually! The volumes are low but the grapes are of superior quality. Fortune smiled on us: the weather was magnificent during this period. The fresh nights and the dry and sunny days secured an optimal maturation of the grapes, without grey rot. The aromas are concentrated and fresh.

The wines :
The white grapes-varieties took advantage of the cool August and of the Indian summer: the ripeness is satisfying and the malic acid is very low. The tartaric acid, which is essential for the structure of the wines with good ageing potential, has a good level. The pinots noirs are ripe earlier and give wines with freshness, nice aromas of fruits and good minerality.

The Vintage 2009

2009 Winter was long and cold :
There was snow on the Vosges mountain from the end of November till the middle of March, without stopping. By contrast, Spring was mild and wet. We could observe the first buds on April the 5th and 6th in the Clos St Landelin. We had a nice summer season with dry and warm weather. There was not a lot of rain, but the clay and limestone soils didn’t suffer from dryness because the clay keeps the humidity, especially if the soils are ploughed and the roots deep. Millésime 2009 - En pousse Fortune smiles on us, this hot and dry weather carried on all the harvest. Once more Alsace benefitted by a magnificent Indian summer.

The harvest :
The maturity was early and the harvests began on the Clos St Landelin on August 31th with the pinots noirs, followed by the pinots gris. Because of the good weather we could go on with the different grapes almost without interruption. The harvest finished on October 16th with the last gewurztraminers vendanges tardives.

The 2009 wines are very promising.
The different grapes varieties are all equally throve. The rieslings have a very nice structure. The pinots and the gewurztraminers are silky and full. 2009 is definitively a vintage to remember and to keep in the cellar!

The Vintage 2008

The spring is very early :
heat records are broken in February with 19°C in Rouffach on February 24th. The first buds appear around April 26th, the flowering time begins on May 30th. May is favourable to disbudding. It means removing the excess buds to avoid heap of leaves or grapes. So the branches colinize the trellising, catch the rays of sunlight and also allow a good aeration between the leaves. This will minimize the growth of mildew, oïdium and botrytis.

During summer the weather is caprisious :
Fortunately, in September, the trend changes for an anticyclonic period. In those conditions, with good luminosity and cold and dry wind from North, the grapes ripen and keep a good acidity level.

The harvest :
The harvest begins with pinots noirs on September 15th. They go off calmly and finish on October 25th. The wines from 2008 vintage are characterized by fine acidity which is a good sign for their ageing potential. The minerality of the Riesling Clos St Landelin is fine but present. This minerality is due to the calcareous subsoil but also to the ploughings made by the team of the Clos St Landelin. The good weather in October allowed us to harvest concentrated grapes of pinot gris and gewurztraminer which will produced “vendanges tardives” (late harvest). They combine richness of fruit and aromas of citrus fruits which are typical of the Clos St Landelin: sweet, but well-balanced wines.

The Vintage 2007

A specially early spring !
The winter is very mild and, on 1st of March, the flowering of the almond trees is one month early. The trend has been confirmed and April is much hotter and drier than the average. The branches of the vine grow quickly because May was rainy. The flowering of the vine plants exceptionally occurs between the 15th and the 25th of May. It is 4 weeks earlier than usually. No winegrower remembers that ! The summer is not very hot but the vine keeps the advance won during springtime.

Botrytis !
August is sweet and humid. We manage to control mildew but those weather conditions are also favourable to Botrytis. It also develops well because the berries are ripe. The vinegrower must fit the sanitary conditions of the grapes. We have to thin out the leaves: the one which are near to the grapes are taken by hand to aerate and dry the berries. The rot is slowed down. The wet weather finishes on 23rd of August.

24th of August: first day of the harvest !
The surprises are not finished this year: after an early flowering, we harvest even if the summer is not finished. The first grapes to be picked up are pinots noirs. The sunny weather of September stabilizes the grapes and allows them to win some degrees. Pinots gris et rieslings are harvested in very good conditions.

Favourable weather forecast for wonderful “sélections de grains nobles”.
The good weather carries on and noble rot appears. The berries are strictly selected and permit us to produce some gems: “sélections de grains nobles” of muscats and rieslings. A pinot gris from the Clos St Landelin breaks all the record of concentration with a potential of 31°. In the cellar, the vertical press works wonders. It presses the grapes with delicacy, without grinding up. The juice is clear, delicate and perfumed. To sum up, 2007 put us in a cold sweat but is a very good vintage. On one hand, dry rieslings et dry pinots gris have got delicate aromas and are long in mouth. On the other hand, the sweet wines are rich and complex.

The Vintage 2006

A late spring !
After a long and cold winter, the budding-out takes place around April 15th, that is to say 2 weeks later than the previous years. But this date was the average from 1950 to 1980.

Hail-storm on June 29th.
We are more frightened than hurt : the leaves are damaged but they have protected the grapes. The berries show only a few impacts.

What a strange summer !
July is very hot and dry. The well-ploughed vineyards don’t suffer from the dryness because they have deep roots and can take the underground humidity. On the opposite, August is rainy. Around August the 20th, one can see the first spots of grey rot. The solution : thinning out the leaves to aerate the bunches of grapes and to limit the development of the fungus. Fortunately, the weather get better early September...the vine-grower’s morale is high again.

The harvests :
They began on September 13th with Chardonnay for the Crémant d’Alsace millésime 2006. The quality of the grapes is promising. The pinots noirs “V” and Clos St Landelin are harvested on September 19th and 20th. There’s a double selection : on the vineyard and in the cellar on the sorting table. The rain is back after September 20th. The maturity develops very quickly for all the grape-varieties. We have to hurry up : more pickers are called to finish the rieslings on the 30th...just in time before new showers. After Sunday October 8th, the weather become dry and sunny. The gewurztraminer’s berries lose their water and get concentrated. Some “Sélections de Gains Nobles” are harvested on the Clos St Landelin at 24° of potential alcohol !

The work in the cellar :
The following of the alcoholic fermentations is essential to avoid stopping or deviation. We have to work quickly and to adapt to the grapes. Unlike the previous vintages, the rackings are made earlier, only the very fine lees are kept to secure an ageing that will emphasizes fruitiness, smoothness and finesse.

The Vintage 2005

Climatic conditions on Rouffach :
June and May were very hot. August was not so favorable, with a fresh and rainy weather. Fortunately for the vineyard, the off-season was exceptional: September and October were hot and dry. Some estival rains guaranteed a good hydric feeding of the vine without harming the quality of the bunches. The grapes thus preserved the tartaric acid, which confers on the wines a fine acidity. The beautiful autumnal conditions made it possible to ensure a good maturity of the grapes. The gewurztraminers of the estate reached the level of “Vendanges Tardives”. Only a few days of rain at the beginning of October stopped the harvest. The grapes did not suffer from it, on the contrary this moisture allowed a better maturity of the skins.

The harvest :
The harvest began on Septembre 19 with the pinots noirs and finished on october 30 with the last rieslings.

The vineyard :
After several years in organic vinegrowing, the vine seems to have found a balance which reinforces its natural defenses. The development of parasitic mushrooms (oïdium, mildew, gray rot) is weak and the treatments are extremely limited. The amount of copper (Bouillie Bordelaise) used was only 1 kg of metal per hectare.

The wines :
The quality of the life of the soils is so good that the assimilation of the minerality is done under optimal conditions. During the tasting, the wines let appear minerality and sapidity which confer smoothness and elegance to them.

The Vintage 2004

Climatic conditions on Rouffach :
The average temperatures are high but without excess. August is rather rainy whereas September is a little sunnier. November and October are regularly punctuated of rainy episodes.

The vine and grape on the Domaine :
From June, the vineyard undergoes some attacks of oïdium. But they are well controlled thanks to an early sulphur powdering.
After the stress of 2003, the vine has an important vegetative and fruit-bearing activity. In order to support the maturation of the grapes, we made some green harvests on the gewurztraminers.

Vintage on the Domaine :
Potential harvest is very large. In order to target only the ripest grapes, the harvests were made in several passages. Thank to this work, we picked up the pinots gris in selection of noble grains to a potential of 21,2° and the muscats, also in selection of noble grains, with a potential of 18,6°.
The consequence of these passages was a great spreading out of the harvests: they started with the pinots noirs and the first pinots gris on September 26th, to finish with the rieslings and muscats at the end of November.
Another consequence of the climatic conditions, the selection of the juices was more precise during the pressing in order to preserve the glare of the flavours and the purity of the wines.

Wines of the Domaine :
Dry white wines: beautiful balances let predict beautiful wines of gastronomy.
The liqueur-like white wines, because of the great maturity of the grapes, have flavours of exotic fruits typical from the Clos Saint Landelin and a big length.
Lastly, on the pinots noirs, we find this year the quality of the clay and limestones soils of Rouffach for the production of red wines.
Body and minerality are present as well as a beautiful color supported by fine tannins.

The Vintage 2003

Climatic conditions in Rouffach :
After a cold and dry beginning of the year, March was mild and sunny. But on April 10th in the evening, snow began to fall. In the morning of the 11th April, the temperature was –6°C. This frost made a lot of damage on the early bud burst grapes: pinot noir, gewurztraminer and muscat. Not only the future harvest was damaged but also the architecture of the vine-trunk was disturbed. The main buds were distroyed. The secondary buds are less regular and less productive. Unlike a normal frost, the early locations were the most touched because the buds were already out.
Until early June, the development of the vine was normal compare to an average year. But the lack of rainfall didn’t augur well. The vineyard suffered from the dryness and the warmth of July and August. The places at the top of the Clos Saint Landelin, with stony and South exposition are the most hit. The places at the bottom of the slope or with richer soil stayed in better conditions.

The vine and the grapes on the domaine :
Pinots noirs and pinots gris had a quick maturation. Gewurtraminers took more time because they had thick skins that would have given bitterness if picked up early. But the maturation of the Riesling was the longest. This grape is sensitive to the lack of water and had its growth stopped by the dryness.

The harvest on the domaine :
The harvest began on the first of September with the pinots noirs, that is to say three weeks earlier than usualy! It was the first time that the harvest was so early. After pinots noirs, it was the pinots gris and sylvaners. Gewurztraminers were picked up at the end of September. The harvest ended with rieslings on the 24th October, under the first snow.

The wines of the domaine :
The pinots noirs have an elegant structure with ripe tannins. Red fruit aromas are present and make the wines charming. The white wines are powerful and fat. The balances are dry except for the muscat produced in vendanges tardives. But all the white wines offer exotic fruit and white fruit aromas.

The Vintage 2002

Climatic conditions in Rouffach :
2002 is characterized by rains and soft temperatures. Spring was favourable to vine’s development and leaded us to predict an early vintage. However, after an hot June, summer was more moderated with alternation of dry and hot weather and wet and fresh periods. Autumn was also rainy and required us to watch the sky anxiously. But, at the end of September, when the harvest began, it was only interrupted by some rains.

The vine and the grapes on the domaine :
For all the varieties, the blooming passed without any problem. Even the Muscat, which is usually capricious, had no problems of coulure or "millerandage". Summer presented alternation of hot days and showers and was favourable to mildew’s development. The first stake was to maintain a balance in the vine-plant and to help it to strike against this parasite.
The second and complementary stake was to treat the vineyard with reflection and to use the right products. The purpose is to be the most possible respectful of the soils and of the environment in general (the domaine is managed with the organic process and uses biodynamic means).
With the fresh weather of September, the maturation of the grapes slowed down, and some Botrytis cinerea appeared in certain parts of the vineyard.
The good aeration of the grapes and the absence of pile due to strict thinning out at the end of August, permitted to the rot to develop in good conditions and to move to noble rot.

The harvest on the domaine :
It began on September 23rd with the pinot noir, and it finished on October 24th. This year, the pinot noir required severe sorting out in the vineyard and in the cellar.
For the white grapes, the picking was done in 2 or 3 times. Also there, the serious selection in the vineyard and in the cellar was the key of quality. Here some potential alcohol contents : 14° for riesling Clos Saint Landelin, 17,9° for gewurztraminer Schulzengass, 17,4° for gewurztraminer grand cru Vorbourg, 19,3° for pinot gris Clos Saint Landelin and even 24° for gewurztraminer Clos Saint Landelin.

The wines of the domaine :
A complete description will be made next spring, but for the moment we can say that the acid structure, the strong frame and the great maturity will make of 2002 a remarkable vintage of complexity and fineness.

The Vintage 2001

Climatic conditions :
After quite a wet spring, summer brought some nice and warm days, with dry periods (2 or 3 weeks) interrupted by one to three rainy days. We were freezing the sixth of July : a hailstorm passed through on the side of the vineyard, unfortunately the grand cru Zinnkoepflé was not spared.
With autumn, peacefulness was not yet in season. September was wet and cold and caused us to begin the harvest with a strong feeling of pessimism. Fortunately October and the beginning of November was exceptionally sunny and warm: we are not used to harvest with t-shirts !

The vine and the grapes :
After a budding delayed by two weeks, the flowering was good. Only the muscat offered the third of the normal harvest.
The stake of the vintage was, like quite often, the control of the strength : a strong vine had an excessive yield whereas a normal vine had a reasonable yield. Picking the grapes in excess was as usual of capital importance. In the good situations and in spite of the cold weather, the grapes offered a good maturity at the end of September (especially the skins were ripe). The sun in October made the development of Botrytis cinerea possible in favourable conditions. As a result, with desiccation and noble rot, the sugar concentration quickly increased without loss of acidity.

The harvest on the Domain :
It began the first of October for the pinot noir and ended on the second of November. Strict selective picking in the vineyard and on the table was done with the pinot noir. The white grapes were picked at two time intervals. With a little bit of patience and generous hours of sunshine, very high maturity was reached. We can quote some examples of high potential alcohol content : 16,2° for the sylvaner Clos Saint Landelin, 15,8° for the riesling Clos Saint Landelin or 19,8° for the pinot gris Clos Saint Landelin.

The wines :
The fermentation was regular, without increase of temperature. The acidity is fine and normal during tasting. The fruit aromas are still reserved, but a firm structure, well balanced with a beautiful fat impression seems to develop. The dark colours of the red wines are in adequacy with their interesting frame.

The Vintage 2000

The grapes :
During spring, we began the plantation of a new plot of Pinot Noir in the Clos Saint Landelin. In order to obtain deep-rooted vines and to limit the yield, we planted 10 000 vine-plants per hectare. This process seems to be the best for respecting the "terroir" and will be developed later on the new plots and on the terraces. Our next challenge is to find small and narrow tractors to work in these high density plantations.
After the rainy months of May and June, July was stormy. Fortunately, the end of August was milder. So after worrying mildew attacks in spring we could slow down the rythm of treatments and soil work before the maturing process on the grape berries.
The relative dry end of summer allowed us to begin harvest in mid-September under the sunshine. Some noble rot offered us also great material for very good "vendanges tardives" and even "selection de grain noble". The draining soils of the Clos St Landelin evacuated the rain of mid-October, so the grapes achieved their maturation in good conditions. The harvest finished at the end of October.

The wines :
Alsace wines from 2000 vintage will have an exceptional aromatic expression. Grapes born from more hydrophilic soils will give wines characterized by rougher substance and shorter profile. At the Clos Saint Landelin, the typical citrus fruits aromas of limestone soils are extremely developed. Fineness and elegance are also exceptional.

The Vintage 1999

The grapes :
After a rather early spring, the summer was more difficult: rain in July and August led to mildew which was quite serious in some areas.
The vines had to be treated, and great care taken until the harvest. As we use organic methods we can only use what is known as the Bordeaux organic mixture against mildew. It pollutes less, but it is not as active as the chemical fungicides. This made the work in the vineyard much more demanding than usual.
This mild wet weather meant excessive growth and the vines had to be drastically thinned. But the results were grapes with a high concentration. This thinning also meant that air could circulate and prevent the development of other cryptogamous diseases like mildew or gray rot.
The rain did not prevent the grapes from reaching maximum maturity. The stony soil and subsoil of the Clos Saint Landelin with its natural drainage can be relied upon to produce wonders in a year like this,. The harvest began in early October. The grape pickers had to go over each plot two or three times to only take the ripe grapes each time. We finished harvesting around the 15th November.

The wines :
The general characteristics of the top wines of the 1999 Alsace vintage are their class and structure. However, the wines that were made from a too abundant harvest are diluted and lack complexity. They will lose their greatness and become ordinary wines that are just easy to drink. The connoisseur needs to know how to choose! In the clay and limestone soil of the Clos Saint Landelin the wines from this year will retain their subtle elegance that characterizes this vineyard year after year.

The Vintage 1998

Density and balance !

The grapes :
The vines flowered early in good climatic conditions. The summer months were hot and sunny with a few thunder storms and it was thought the harvest would be good. However, the exceptionally hot weather, temperatures up to 40° C, started to burn the grapes at the ripening stage, but fortunately did not do too much damage.
There was a little more rain at the beginning of September and then mild weather until the end of the harvest. The winemakers were happy.

The wines :
Potential alcohol levels were quite high and acidity was good. The fermentation of the must was regular and the temperatures did not go too high. The wine was matured on lees and bottling took place at the beginning of 2000. The wines are powerful, straight forward and firm with fruity aromas. This year they are marked by their limestone terroir or georegion. They are less exuberant than 1997, but more profound.

The Vintage 1997

Great maturity !

Why are the wines of 1997 so exceptional ?
The average temperature in August and September 1997 was higher than ever in Alsace (since the beginning of meteorological records).
During the maturation period, showers interrupted the two or three week cycles of dry hot weather.
This was exactly what was needed to make the vines «suffer» just the right amount. Apparently, it was in the region of Rouffach that conditions were the best: its dry microclimate and the stony limestone soil were able to give of their best and express the true character of this terroir or georegion.
The wine was matured on its lees until September and bottling took place after the 1998 harvest. The alcohol content was high and the acidity good. The 1997 vintage is characterized by its fine limestone georegion and the depth of a great wine. It is yours to be enjoyed!

The Vintage 1996

The terroir year !

The climate :
Spring was rainy, but flowering took place in mid-June in very good conditions. It rained in July, but August was mostly dry.
The weather in September was perfect: a few showers, just enough for the vines, and humidity remained at a low level.

The grapes and the wine :
The exceptional quality of the 1996 vintage is mainly linked to the amount of rain! There were showers, but they were moderate, with regular dry winds in July, August and September. The wines express their specific geographical position with its soil and climate (terroir or georegion).
In 1996, there was dew in the mornings, the nights were cool and the days sunny. The vines suffered, but never lacked water and did not undergo stress due to their long deep roots. Full maturity was obtained without the appearance of noble rot.
The grapes were overripe, withered and concentrated, but there was no botrytis on the skins because the air was hot and dry. All the ingredients were there to obtain the best the georegion could give to the wine.

What has this given to the 1996 vintage ?!
An explosion of fruit aromas: peach, lemon, almond, apricot, tropical fruit, quince, grapefruit …

The Vintage 1995

Low yield gives quality !

The climate :
Spring was humid and June was chilly and rainy. July and the beginning of August were sunny, hot and dry, but after 15th August, the rain came and only stopped at the end of September. October was hot and sunny.

The grapes and the wine :
The June flowering lasted a long time and was irregular. In the areas where the vines flowered early (Clos Saint Landelin) flowering was poor because of the cold weather, and few grapes developed predicting a low yield. However, in the areas where flowering was late the grapes had to be thinned. In the Clos Saint Landelin, the yield was 39 hl/ha.
This year, the pebbly limestone soil and planting grass between the rows of vines had a favorable effect on quality. The vines were not too vigorous because the rain at the end of August and in September was quickly drained off and the grass had an effect by limiting the development of the vegetative system of the vine. This was the key to optimum grape maturity and a good expression of the georegion in the wine.
The grapes were picked in the sun. The density of the must was high, and sometimes very high. In the Clos Saint Landelin vineyard, 75% of the grapes reached the level of late harvest quality. The acidity level was good without being excessive. The low yield has given delicate wine of great complexity.

The Vintage 1994

The worst and the best or the importance of the georegion !

The climate :

The spring of 1994 was warm and rainy until flowering. A very dry summer followed, with no rain at all from the beginning of July until the end of August. In September and early October it was particularly rainy. The weather completely changed from 4th to 21st of October when it was hot, sunny and dry. The rain returned on 22 October.

The grapes and the wine :

The conditions for flowering were good for all the grape varieties. In the Clos Saint Landelin, the usual thinning was done in very hot weather in July and August.

The composition of the soil played a determining role in the quality of the harvest. In the area of Rouffach, and particularly on the hillsides, the soil is pebbly and chalky and the water drains off quickly. There was a definite contrast between the pebbly dry soil with good drainage giving small yields and the clayey soil giving high yields.

On the stony soils, the vines had already stopped growing in early August, the grapes ripened and their skin became thick because of the dryness. On the clayey soils, the vines went on growing and the rain in September caused gray rot to develop on the unripe grapes. These grapes had to be harvested quickly to avoid any further damage to their quality, but gave diluted and acidy wines. In our vineyards, the water drained off rapidly weakening the skin of the grapes that were already ripe and favoring the development of noble rot.

As a result it was decided to delay picking and take advantage of the sunny period from 4th to 21st of October to have grapes with a must concentration that was increasing every day. At the Clos Saint Landelin, the harvest ended on Friday 21st October. That day some of the gewurztraminer had a potential alcohol content of 26% vol. Luck was with us, as it started raining again the very next day.