France: Alsace

North of Colmar

The wines of the Haut-Rhin from Niedermorschwihr to Rohrschwihr
By Sue Style

This Guide was last updated on 14 March 2011
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Wine Travel Guide: France, Alsace, North-of-Colmar

Cave de Ribeauvillé ©Peter Harvey

Cave de Ribeauvillé

Address: 2 route de Colmar, 68152 Ribeauvillé
Tel: 03 89 73 61 80  Fax: 03 89 73 31 21
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 48:1:32N (48.19210)    Longitude: 7:19:34E (7.32614) 

The oldest cooperative in France (founded 1895) with around 40 members and 260ha of vines in prime sites in and around Ribeauvillé, including – unusually for a coop - the wholly owned Clos du Zahnacker in the heart of Grand Cru Osterberg. In 2007 the Cave called in Bordeaux winegrower, academic and consultant Denis Dubourdieu, with a brief to look critically at sugar levels in all their wines. Under Dubourdieu’s guidance, Philippe Dry (the aptly  named managing director) and Evelyne Bléger (oenologist) aim for a more modern, crisper style of wine. Dry has instituted a 4-way grading system to indicate sweetness levels: wines are labelled sec, demi-sec, moelleux or doux, with explanatory notes on residual sugar and acidity levels. The recently revamped shop is well laid out and you get competent advice at the tasting counter, often staffed by cooperative members. Half of all bottles are screwcapped, particularly entry-level wines (like the top-selling,Gewurz-Muscat blend Andante) designed for early drinking. Plenty of choice in all grape varieties, starting with Prestige (generics), Réserve (organic wines, vieilles vignes and lieux-dits) and Grande Réserve (Grands Crus, Clos du Zahnacker and late-harvest wines). Sixty percent of wines are exported – UK stockist is Bibendum.

Useful information: Open every day. Tours of the cellar and museum for groups by appointment. English spoken.


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