Domaine Weinbach was established in 1610 by the Capuchin monks who also gave their name to the domaine's most prized vineyard, Clos des Capucins. The estate itself got the name Weinbach--which literally translates to "wine brook"--from a little stream that trickles through the property.
The current owners are the Faller family, whose ancestors bought the property in 1898. Theo Faller, who inherited Domaine Weinbach from his father and Uncle, was responsible for the emergence of the estate during the mid 20th century. A fervent advocate of the wines of Alsace
, Theo lobbied long and hard for the extension of the appellation system to the region. Coincidentally, or maybe not, the Schlossberg vineyard, 10 hectares of which belong to the Fallers, was named the first of several Grand Crus in Alsace.
Politics aside, the Faller family offers an extensive range of pure, highly expressive wines that exhibit strong soil tones and complex, well-delineated flavors. Colette Faller and her daughters, Catherine and Laurence, who took over after Theo's death in 1979, impress us most with their concentrated, densely packed Rieslings
, combining fruity and stony elements in a particularly exhilarating way. The Fallers also craft Gewürztraminers that showcase the variety's extravagant richness and exotic perfume, but with precision of aromas and flavors. There are many, many cuvees here, but you can be assured that these wines will all be of excellent quality. Following the trend in Alsace, the family has farmed half of their 27 hectares biodynamically since 1998.
Alsace has been almost pathologically ignored by the American wine-drinking public for generations--a real mystery in light of the great number of juicy, pure wines produced in this picture-postcard region of northeastern France.
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