Winery of the Week: Bott-Frères
September 11, 2017
The Bott family have been winegrowers in Alsace since 1835, with a steady succession of father-to-son heritage, but also an alliance to the land. Current patriarch Pierre Bott was president of SAFER, a 50-year-old organization focused on the preservation of Alsace’s agriculture, environment and landscapes. In 1978, he was made a Knight of the French Order of Agricultural Merit.
The domaine was established by Philippe Louis Bott, the son of a brewer and a winegrower, in 1835, above Ribeauvillé. The next-generation brothers abandoned the brewery business to fully devote themselves to wine growing, giving birth to “Bott Frères.” They built a new winery outside of town using stones from the family’s Château de Zellenberg, which is now a destination on the Alsace wine road.
Today, three generations operate the winery including the 89-year-old Pierre, who visits the winery daily. Paul Pierre Gustave, who received training in New Zealand, works with his parents, and is the youngest generation.
Bott-Frères practices sustainable and biodynamic agriculture, farming six of Alsace’s white varieties and Pinot Noir. The winery’s full range of wines includes entry-level “Tradition” to terroir-driven “Reserve Personnelle” and Grand Crus. The wines are aged in century-old oak casks, and marked by their intensity, tight acidity and intriguing nuances of terroir.
Additionally, Bott-Frères makes Crémant d’Alsace, the rare Vendages Tardives (late-harvest) wines and eaux-de-vie (grape brandies).
Photo credit: Julien Binz