France: Alsace

Around Strasbourg

The Alsace wines of the Bas-Rhin
By Sue Style

This Guide was last updated on 12 March 2011
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André Ostertag

Address: 87 Rue Finkwiller, 67140 Epfig
Tel: 03 88 85 51 34 
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 48:21:43N (48.36195)    Longitude: 7:27:24E (7.45659) 

Poet, philosopher, gentle mystic and iconoclast, Ostertag is no fan of email (“there’s nothing like hand-written letters!”) and receives visitors only reluctantly. Wines, grown on 14ha in widely scattered vineyards from Epfig to Ribeauvillé, are categorised as vins de fruit (‘fruit wines’, characteristics of the grape variety to the fore, to be drunk young), vins de pierre (‘stony wines’, terroir up front, often late-harvested, to be kept 10-20 years) and vins de temps (‘wines that take time’, late harvested and/or botrytized, fabulously long-lived). Some Vosges oak (more subtle and soft than Limousin oak) is used for the more neutral varieties (Pinot Gris, Sylvaner), regarded as aberrant by some in Alsace. An instinctive but relatively recent (1998) member of France’s growing band of biodynamic growers. Tiny quantities, always oversubscribed (stocked by Berry Bros in the UK).

Useful information: Visits strictly by appointment. English spoken.


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