Schoenenbourg is without a doubt one of the most beautiful Riesling terroirs in the Alsace. Those who appreciate the uprightness and exceptional nature of this grape variety will relish this wine! More info
Schoenenbourg Grand Cru is a magnificent, steeply-sloped vineyard overlooking the touristic village of Riquewihr. The terroir consists of Keuper gypsum marl covered with Vosges sandstone and fine layers of Muschelkalk, with a minerally-rich subsoil. The south-southeast facing vineyard extends over 53 ha and is primarily planted with Riesling, this being the variety which best expresses the complexity of this terroir. Schoenenbourg wines often show a bareness when young but they boast a wonderfully fine, rounded acidity and a noble bitterness with almost tannic notes.
The heir to a family tradition dating back to 1795, when his ancestor Jean-Martin Geyl began ploughing the vines and making wine, Jean-Chrsitophe Bott has managed Domaine Bott-Geyl since 1993. He works with small yields, converting the property to organic farming in 2000 and biodynamic methods in 2002, and vinifies his wines in a natural, minimal intervention style.
The property consists of 15 hectares and includes 5 grands crus and 3 localities. 75 plots are spread over seven communes, from Ribeauvillé to Kientzheim. It is of vital importance in the vineyard to understand the nature of the soil in which the vines are growing, and to be able to care for it in an appropriate manner (hoeing, ploughing, spreading of organic composts etc.).
To control yields, the property prunes the vines severely in the winter. Planting density is also an important factor (ideally it should be between 5,500 and 7,800 vines per hectare) so as to oblige the vines to develop deep roots and fully express the subtlety of the terroir.
After manual harvests, alcoholic fermentation takes three to six months: in this way the wines gain complexity and intensity. No enzymes, additional sugar or yeast are added to the musts, and the wines are not fined. The next stage is racking: the wines are separated from the lees and gradually clarify. The wines are aged on the lees for four to eight months, which enhances their texture and gives them greater finesse. After bottling the wines are stored in a temperature-controlled cellar for several months, or even years in some cases, before being released on to the market.
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