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The Ehrhart family has been making wine in Alsace since 1725, and the family tradition continues on today just as it has for the last few centuries. Since joining his father, François, in 1988, Philippe Ehrhart and his wife, Corinne, have tried to stay faithful to the non-interventionist philosophy of his grandfather. For three generations Domaine Saint-Rémy has embraced old-school viticultural methods. In fact, the region as a whole has been a leading force in the organic and biodynamic movement, and the estate is proudly Demeter certified in both methodologies. In recent years Philippe and Corinne have also become involved in Tyflo, an organization formed in 1990 by environmentally conscious growers to provide official certification for sustainable farming practices.
It shouldn’t be surprising that an idyllic land filled with mountains, streams, colorful half-timbered homes, green forests and rolling hills is also ideal for growing grapes. The Vosges Mountains stop the rain as it travels across France from the Atlantic, leaving the eastern side—Alsace—to enjoy sunnier days than anywhere else in the country. Having spent the last five hundred years changing nationalities between Germany and France, Alsace embodies the best of both cultures. Nowhere is that more prominent than in the wine, where Germanic varietals are treated with a regal restraint and delicacy that is unmistakably French. The Ehrhart family has been making wine in Alsace since 1725, and the family tradition continues on today just as it has for the last few centuries.
The Ehrharts are based in the village of Wettolsheim, five kilometers west of Colmar. They farm 24 hectares among 11 communes within the Haut-Rhin, including four –grand crus (Hengst, Brand, Goldert and Schlossberg) and four lieux-dits (Rosenberg, Herrenweg, Im Berg and Val St-Grégoire). While Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Pinot Gris serve as the primary focus of their plantings, they also work with Pinot Noir, Pinot Auxerrois, Sylvaner, and Chardonnay. The Ehrharts believe that the incredible diversity of their terroirs necessitates separate vinifications for each parcel of land. The Ehrharts harvest all of their fruit by hand, sorting through the clusters in the vineyard rather than in the winery. The grapes are pressed gently and undergo long, traditional fermentations with native yeasts. They allow the wines to rest on their lees and stir them twice a month for 6 to 8 months. Given the incredible diversity of terroirs from granite to limestone to sand, and slow vinifications, the finished wines are abundant in opulent aromatics yet are chiseled with a striking minerality and clean acidity.
VARIETALS: 50% Pinot Auxerrois, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir
VINIFICATION: Traditional method. 3 years on the lees after second fermentation.
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