Sourced from three plots in Rorschwihr, about 20 kilometres from Colmar in Alsace. They are sandy clay soils with a high calcium content. The vineyards lie on a slight slope facing south and east. The vines are 30, 33 and 37 years old. Wines in the AOC Pinot Blanc may be made from various Pinot grape varieties, not just the Pinot Blanc grape variety. As is customary for many AOC Pinot Blanc wines, this wine is made from the Pinot Auxerrois.
Whole bunches are pressed at once. Then a cold peeling at 8-10 degrees. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 18-20 degrees. After that, the wine matures for 6-8 months on the yeast cells (‘sur lie’). This makes the wine more complex and slightly creamier in texture.
Despite the traditional style of winemaking that you still often encounter in Alsace, it is extremely versatile. The terroir, in combination with the planted king varieties Riesling and Pinot Noir, among others, offers many opportunities to focus on quality. And that is what Engel does. Engel’s wines can therefore definitely compete with the best wineries in the Haut Rhin.
The Engel family has a total of over 50 hectares in production, divided among many different vineyards in the region. All grapes are hand-picked. Domaine Fernand Engel is a real family business, where work is done hands-on. During the harvest, for many years a fixed group of pickers have been hired, who have learned to apply a first selection already in the vineyard. Great wine is born in the vineyard, is the philosophy, and nothing is left to chance.
Son-in-law Xavier has studied oenology in his native region in the Loire. Together with his wife Sandrine, they have a mission to make the best wines of the region. They understand, like no other, the art of blending wines from different parcels of land in order to achieve consistently high quality every year. Domaine Engel has vineyards in 7 different villages, spread over 150 different parcels. A true mosaic of terroirs, which they consider a great asset. The results of recent years are astonishing: wines that are a paragon of purity, elegance, finesse and balance. In the meantime, Domaine Engel has also acquired vineyards in several Grand Cru vineyards. Grand Cru Riesling is produced in the Praelatenberg (Kintzheim), Gewurztraminer in the Altenberg (Bergheim) and Pinot Gris in the Gloeckelberg (Rodern and Saint-Hippolyte).
Bernard Engel, son of founder Fernand, is concerned with the care of the vineyards and noticed that, when using the traditional methods, he was suffering more and more from skin diseases and other strange ailments. In 2001, he switched to the biodynamic method and saw his ailments disappear. Since then, the entire Domaine has been cultivated biodynamically and is now also bio-certified.
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