The ALTENBERG DE BERGHEIM is located in the heart of the geological faults fields of RIBEAUVILLE where hard limestone and Jurassic Lias marls meet each other. These abundant formations in fossils form a poor clay-limestone soil, red (ferruginous), and rich in rock limestone, where the vines must dive deeper to find their energy.
The micro-climate of ALTENBERG, resulting from its fully southern exposure, its distance from the forehead of Vosges and its isolated position facing the Plain Rhenane, this Grand Cru is terribly hot, dry and almost overexposed. The maturities of grapes, often amplified by the noble rot, are non-standard and they impose the domination of terroir on the cepages co- planted.
HISTORICALLY The return to the ancient practice of vineyards co-planted with all traditional cepages and the return to the single vintage unsorted open the Pandora’s box of ”Grand Vin” from ALTENBERG: the Terroir becomes the conductor who inspires and controls all ranges of “performers” (rootstocks and cepages, along with all the conditions of the vintage and even the winemaker!). This approach is “The pure expression of Terroir, the balanced symphony of Grand Vin ”.
This wine revives synthesis of the old tradition of Alsace wines for being aged and made for the journey, throughout the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, until the end of the thirteenth century, which made modern Alsace wines an accumulation from thousands of years’ civilization achievements in Plain Rhenan.
Domaine Marcel DEISS is located in Bergheim, a small village nestling in the heart of the wine region of Alsace, equidistant from the northern and southern boundaries of the region. Current winemaker Jean-Michel DEISS was born into a long-established family of wine growers, living at BERGHEIM since 1744. Managed today by Jean-Michel DEISS, the domaine consists of 26 hectares (52 acres) of hillside vineyards spread over 9 communes and approximately 20 kilometers .
The extreme variation in conditions of production at the domaine have led Jean-Michel DEISS to seek to express in each wine the three factors that make a wine complete: the grape variety, the vintage and the terroir. The greater the wine, the more the gustatory characteristics linked to the soil take the place of the typicity linked to grape variety or vintage. When speaking of terroir, the following have to be taken into consideration: geology, pedology, climate and microclimate, technical exploitation of the character of the soil, microfauna and flor, and the traditional methods and techniques used to produce wines.