When one of our dearest wine suppliers called to ask whether we want to meet up with their new producer, we've agreed, but as with many unknown bottles or producers there wasn't anything to rave about. Here is a story about how it all changed for us and why we've decided to add these organic wines to our list immediately!
It was a lovely but very cold January afternoon when we had both the supplier and producer representatives over.
Whilst admittedly it is nice to meet in person and put a face against the wines we sell, it is not strictly necessary. Our expectations were to try the wines and have a discussion about why they are special.
What was really astonishing is the passion towards these wines. It was so contagious that we at Organic Wine Club were truly entertained by the story of Cave Ribeauvillé which is the oldest Cooperative in France established back in 1885. The Coop is at the very heart of village life there with community space, art gallery and their shop keeping it busy for the hardworking 19 people they employ.
Ribeauvillé enjoys a very good location within Alsace: it sits on a geological fault line which give the area a tapestry of terroirs across the area giving them 16 different types of soils. It means that 16 types of soils multiply by number of grape varieties and blend options may give them quite a numerous amount of possible wine styles to produce. Yt they do not overcomplicate things and keep their business philosophy very simple: each member brings their entire harvest to the coop and in exchange is fairly paid.
Their organic, biodynamic and vegan friendly range is made from grapes carefully grown on 14 hectares and comprise of the following varieties: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. The total surface is managed by a quality chart which guarantees strict control of the yields and sustainability of the vineyard. When it comes to harvesting the grapes, everything is done manually.
Their passion was contagious for us and after a nice tasting of their 4 organic wines, we've decided to stock them all!
All the wines are now available to buy and we've added our tasting notes to depict why these wines are special and what kind of food would be recommend to pair them with.
Before we let you go and browse these great examples of organic wines, here are some highlights.
We did not have Pinot Blanc in our list prior to this point and we were not sure whether to get it simply because it is not a very popular variety. If you know fresh, floral and citrussy Pinot Grigio and sampled much more full bodied and somewhat oily in texture Pinot Gris - this is something in between. It has aromatic depth and complexity, but also light and refreshing. Acidity doesn't come out as tart or too punchy, but rather smooth and mellow because of that minor touch of oiliness. Definitely worth trying also because it is so versatile!
Riesling is clearly a very typical example of quality white wine from Alsace made of 100% Riesling and as it is rather young, you should expect a bit nervy acidic kick together with prominent minerality.
Gewurztraminer is not even off dry, it is medium sweet. It has been a warm vintage, so this young Gewurz (pardon us for shortening it) is quite sweet. Naturally, of course. Our biggest revelation was in terms of pairing it to a piece of high quality dark chocolate. Absolute triumph of a flavour!
Finally, Pinot Noir was our only hesitation. Not just because we do have a very good range of award-winning Pinot Noirs here, but simply because it was so light. Marc, representative from the cooperative, has suggested that it sits somewhere in the middle of red and rose wines as it is so light and delicate. When you actually thin of it as a rose, we did not have any doubts about it - it is a great tasting and delicate wine that will be an amazing partner for poultry. People who like reds but prefer to opt for low tannin and lighter styles should not miss this wine.
Here is our collection of these wines, feel free to have a closer look at the tasting notes or order some for your own trial. Who knows, maybe passion can travel with our wines by mail over to you!