Winery of the Week: Domaine Etienne Loew
June 12, 2017
Just about 25 kilometers northwest of Strasbourg, Alsace’s capital city, you’ll find the Couronne d’Or, the “golden circle” of vineyards, an area consisting of some 15 wine producers and four exciting Grand Crus.
It is here, in the village of Westhoffen, at the very north of the Alsace Route des Vins you’ll find Domaine Etienne Loew, a winery run by a young winemaker who is making a name for himself (and his eponymous winery) with his structured Rieslings and rich Pinot Gris.
Etienne, who trained in Oregon after university, is also focused on reviving Sylvaner, a variety with a less-than-golden reputation, which Etienne believes can produce quality wines with the right attention in the vineyard and winery.
After his work abroad, Etienne returned to his family farm in 1996 and began working on a tiny parcel of 1.77 acres, while his parents maintained another 12 acres, used for growing grapes for the local cooperative. Under Etienne’s watch, formerly unproductive parcels were acquired and restored, and now the winery farms 28 acres biodynamically, including lieux-dits (Suessenberg, Muschelkalck, Clos Marienberg and Clos des Frères) and Grand Cru plots Altenberg de Bergbieten and Engelberg.
Etienne Loew’s wines are very individual, thanks to a focus on terroir. The portfolio includes Sylvaner and Muscat, as well as Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and several Sélection de Grains Nobles, the much-prized sweet and delicious dessert wine produced from noble-rot grapes.