Husband and wife team Francois and Genevieve Barmes created Domaine Barmes-Buecher in 1985 from family land owned since the 17th century. Today, after the death of Francois, Genevieve carries on their life’s work, managing 30 acres in Alsace
, around the towns of Wettolsheim, Turckheim, and Wintzenheim.
Over a decade ago, Francois Barmes turned to biodynamic farming, away from the use of weed killers or fertilizers, replacing them with homeopathic treatments. There is no chaptalization (addition of sugar to increase alcohol levels), no fining, no enzyme treatment, and no artificial yeast addition. One other important step in the vineyards set them apart from their Alsatian neighbors: in the second half of August, Francois would stay home, tending the vines and tying the tops of the adjacent vines to each other, so as to gain better sun exposure to the bunches without trimming.
In the wake of his passing, Francois’ children, Maxime and Sophie have taken on much of the responsibility in the vineyard and continue to further the biodynamic practice they began with their father. Applied to the three Grand Cru holdings, Hengst, Steingrubler and Pfsigberg, Domaine Barmes-Buecher produces supremely concentrated Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc
, and Gewurztraminer
, to name just a few cuvees.
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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