DOMAINE DE L’ACHILLÉE – Yves, Pierre and Jean Dietrich, Scherwiller
The Dietrich family has farmed land in Alsace since 1600, mostly in the village of Scherwiller, but also in an adjacent village. In the past the family farm used to be run on the basis of polyculture but these days the family concentrates on growing grape vines and other fruits.
In 1999 Yves converted the estate to organic farming (at the time he would sell his grapes to the local Cave cooperative), Pierre and Jean took over the responsibility of the winery in 2016 and were the first members of the family to bottle the estate’s wines. The estate has been farmed biodynamically ever since 2003 and includes 18.5 hectares of vines and 6 hectares of fruit trees from which the family produce Pet. Nats. from black and red cherries, damsons and victoria plums.
The cellar, located in the center of Alsace wine road, is the largest building in Europe made out of straw. Achillée is the name for yarrow, a plant used in biodynamic farming and one that grows abundantly on the Dietrich family’s vineyards.
The Riesling comes from 30 year old vines. These are in several different locations with several different soil profiles, altitudes and expositions, ranging from the poor, stony ground of the village of Scherwiller, decomposing granite of the slopes in the top quality local Grand Cru zone (‘Frankstein’ Grand Cru’) and the schistous soil of the nearby villages of Schiefferberg and Bernardvillé. Harvest is manual. The different parcels are vinified. Only the best batches are used in the final blend. Fermentation for eight months in stainless steel vat with indigenous yeast and matured in stainless steel vats on lees for over a year. After a full malolactic conversion the wine is bottled without fining. Subtle hints of lemon and lime, enhanced by notes of white flowers. The palate is firmly structured with a well-integrated acidity endowing the wine with good length. Finally, a multi-layered finish with discreet touches of citrus fruits including grapefruit.