Some 85% of our vineyard, comprising a total 32 hectares and further 5 hectares of rented land, is situated on the edges of community district of Ribeauvillé.
The remainder is situated on the edges of nearby Bergheim and Hunawihr. All our vines are planted in high regions, and 80% of them are on the steep slopes between the "Route du Vin" and the hills of the Vosges.
This concentration of the vineyards on the best hillsides of Ribeauvillé is a real advantage in the production of our characteristic vintages from these exceptional soils.
70% "noble" vine varieties
Diagram of vine varieties
Nearly 70% of our vines in production are classified "noble" varieties :
- 28% Gewurztraminer
- 20% Riesling,
- 13% Pinot Gris
- 7% Pinot Noir
- 1% Muscat
• The vines classified as "Grands Crus" represent 12% of our vineyard by area, or nearly 4 hectares of producing vines. However, 70 ares (7,000 square meters) of young Grand Crus vines are currently not in production.
• It is worth noting that 50 ares of the Kirchberg Grand Cru area are planted with the Pinot Blanc variety of grapes, used for the production of special vintages ("Cuvées Spéciales"). As Pinot Blanc is not one of the grape varieties which may be used in the Grand Crus wines of Alsace, you will never see its name on the label of a Grand Cru wine.
The majority are mature vines - the situation as of 30.08.2002
The age of the vines is important when assessing the quality potential of a vineyard. It is generally accepted that vines less than 10 years old will yield lively and light wine, whilst the mineral qualities of and the depth are only achieved later, when the roots have penetrated further into the earth. The "Institut National des Appellations d'Origine" (INAO), the organisation which oversees all label-of-origin wines, classifies vines aged over 25 years as mature ("Vieilles Vignes").
Maintaining adult and even very old vines is a clear policy for us. It is in fact one of the means we use to regulate the production rate of our vine stock, so as to avoid over-production and a consequent dilution of the wine's quality. However maintaining mature vines means lots of work, because all the processes involved are difficult to mechanise, particularly those of supporting and pruning the vines. We always use the system of companion planting, replacing failing vine stems with new seedling. We replace entire vines only when the vine itself or the grafting stems are not suitable for the soil or in other prevailing conditions. In 1999 we replaced almost 2000 vine stems, mostly of the Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer varieties by companion planting.