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At the foot of the majestic Schlossberg hill in Alsace stands one of the finest estates in all of France. Domaine Weinbach is run with consummate skill and total dedication by Colette Faller and her two daughters, Catherine and Laurence. In the words of Robert Parker, “Colette and her daughter Laurence... pushed Weinbach to the pinnacle of Alsace’s qualitative pyramid.” Domaine Weinbach was established by the Order of Capuchin monks in 1612. The “Clos des Capucins” vineyard surrounds the domaine; the prestigious “Schlossberg” vineyard (the first terroir in Alsace to receive the status of Grand Cru), the Grand Cru “Furstentum”, and the adjacent “Altenbourg” vineyard rise above the clos. The domaine has 62 acres of vineyards in the heart of Kayserberg’s hills and valleys. During the French Revolution, Domaine Weinbach was sold as a national property. In 1898, Théodore Faller and his brother Jean-Baptiste purchased the Domaine and five hectares of vineyards and left it to their son and nephew, Théo. Since 1979, the estate has been run by Théo’s widow, Colette Faller, and recently their daughter Laurence took over the winemaking, with Catherine as marketing director. The grapes are hand-harvested, pressed directly as whole clusters in modern horizontal pneumatic presses. The must settles for 24 hours at cellar temperature and is slowly matured in large, ancient oak casks, using only indigenous yeasts. Filtering is through diatomaceous earth before bottling, which starts in April and finishes in mid-July. The wines are remarkable for their balance and finesse, their intensity and concentration, which is achieved by drastically pruning the vines to limit yields per hectare to nearly one-half that typical in Alsace. Harvesting is late, done when the fruit attains optimum ripeness. All of the domaine’s wines are produced from their own vineyards, a most unusual accomplishment in Alsace, and are therefore 100 % estate grown and estate-bottled.

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