Winery of the Week: Domaine Zind-Humbrecht
May 13, 2013
The Humbrecht family is one in a handful of Alsace producers that have been tending to grapes for over three centuries—393 years, to be exact! The family name reflects the union of two great families steeped in Alsace tradition.
Now run by 12th-generation winemaker Olivier Humbrecht, who is also France’s first Master of Wine, the estate is one of the premier examples of Alsace’s famed pure expression. In addition to his deep understanding of terroir, Olivier is an expert in biodynamics, a philosophical and sustainable practice first advocated by Rudolf Steiner, which emphasizes agricultural practices in harmony with nature.
For all his studies, however, Olivier has said, “The most important thing I have learned? Understanding wine!"
His understanding derives from practices such as low-impact farming, organic composting, restricted yields, hand-tending of the vines, use of native yeasts and long, slow fermentations in oak barrels rather than stainless steel tanks.
The Domaine’s vineyards are spread amongst four Grands Crus and six single-variety plots. The steep hillside vineyards produce exquisite aromatic white wines such as Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris.