Alsace / France
These are wines that take what we know and love about aromatic varietals, and then warps everything a bit. Here, we can view these varietals through the lens of Biodynamics and natural winemaking. This takes away any flabby soapiness or harsh austerity we can sometimes find in Riesling, and leaves us with wines of intense minerality which retain a plush fruited fleshiness.
Antoine Kreydenweiss has been at the helm of this immaculate Estate since 2007. He took over from his father Marc, who headed for better climes in the Southern Rhone where he now also farms and makes wine. Marc initially converted his Alsatian vineyard to Biodynamic culture in the 1980’s, making him one of the first handful to do so in the region. Alsace is now the region with the highest proportion of Organic and Biodynamic vineyards in France, and quite likely the world.
Domaine Kreydenweiss is situated right in the heart of the town of Andlau, towards the northern end of the Alsace vineyard region. Here, the Vosges Mountains are exceptionally steep, and cascade down into the valley. Andlau is nestled right up high in the crook of the mountains. Some of the vineyards are vertiginously steep.
As everywhere in Alsace, geology is a shuffled deck, each vineyard has its own mix of rocks and soils. The dominant, if we can say so, soil type here is the famous pink sandstone from the Vosges, which gives wines of power and memorable aromatics of charred ginger. But there is also quartz, granite and even blue slate.
The vineyard work is impeccable, and as much as possible done by hand or with the help of Antoine’s draft horses. There is a genuine deep commitment to Biodynamics, and you can feel and see the impact in the vineyards - there is vitality and diversity everywhere, yet an impeccable beauty and grace. These are very photogenic sites.
Wines are made simply, always with natural yeast, no additions, and bottled with little or no SO2 very late in the process after malolactic. Ageing in very large old oak foudres.