Alsace - Cave de Turckheim
The best wines from Alsace are perfumed, exotic and luxurious making excellent partners for rich or spicy cuisine. Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris are the star grapes varying in sweetness from dry to dessert styles although some great red is also produced from Pinot Noir in it's own unique style.
Like so many wine regions the landscape is stunning. Located between the French Vosges and German Black Forest mountains the land is mostly flat or gently undulating and scattered with hilltops. These gentle rises, sudden inclines and various soils have provided the perfect conditions for grapes and growers to find their niche over centuries.
In 2010 a friend of mine was working in the area as a holiday guide, so Emma and I took the excuse to visit him and spent a week in the central town of Colmar. The Alsace wine route runs south of Strasbourg on France's Eastern border with Germany and is easily reached by car with a single stop over in the Champagne region.
Champagne itself was about an 8 hour drive for us but divided nicely by a relaxed two hour ferry crossing from Dover to Calais. The next morning we were visiting Avenue de Champagne, home to the cellars and tasting rooms of Moet, Pol Roger, Perrier Jouet and others. We spent most of our time at Mercier (one of France's most popular domestic Champagne brands) taking a cellar tour by miniature railway and stocking up on some great value bottles.
That afternoon we had another three hour drive to the city of Colmar. Industrial on the outskirts yet beautifully preserved in the centre with a timeless mix of French and German architecture, culture and cuisine. As well as unique wines Alsace also boasts more Michelin star restaurants than anywhere else in France.
The village of Turckheim lies just a few miles to the west of Colmar and was our first stop the following day. It's a picture perfect tourist destination with storks roosting on thatched half-timber cottages and is also home to Cave de Turckheim. Established in 1955 they are widely recognised as one of the best wine cooperatives in the world and are also the largest producer of organic wine in the region. Their tasting room had wines from all over Alsace for sale and available to sample for free. We just bought a few bottles that day but I remember an American on business sat next to us ordering multiple cases of everything he tried.
We are delighted now to be selling the wines of Cave de Turckheim in our own shop as they cover the full breadth of Alsatian terroirs and grape varieties whilst promoting low yields, sustainability and chemical-free practices through 180 partner growers.
The 8 wines we currently list can be viewed here including 3 of their "Biologique" organic wines. We have access to many more.