Grand Cru



Bruderthal wine-makers are gardeners of nature who accomplish their work with devotion like the monastic brothers who gave their name to this terroir, the brudern.

  • Soil type Marl-limestone
  • Surface area in hectares 18,40
  • Exposure South-East
  • Village Molsheim
  • Altitude 225 to 300 metres
  • Grape varieties (in % per variety)
    • Riesling 38%
    • Gewurztraminer 31% 
    • Pinot Gris 29%
    • Muscat 2%
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Grand Cru Bruderthal

The wines

Bruderthal produces marine-spirited wines marked by heavy saline nuances.

This growth area produces wines with heavy saline overtones.

This terroir is expressed by its fine aromatic expression which offers a wide variety of aromas. The straightforward, almost linear acidity evolves in the middle mouth to introduce a subtle length with an ample grip. This length has a saline sensation with iodine notes.

This omnipresent marine touch accentuates the sparkling Riesling and Muscat wines. Dried flower hints such as roses express themselves in a mesmerising way, particularly with Gewurztraminer.

Romain ILTIS
Best Sommelier of France, 2012 and Meilleur Ouvrier de France, 2015 (in the Sommelier category)

The terroir-tie

In the cellar

The wines can appear a little austere in their youth but after ageing for five years they become smoother. They then acquire a more delicate middle mouth texture which emphasises the marine expression, so distinctive of this terroir.

During early-ripening vintage years: hints of very ripe yellow fruits yield delicious and sensual sensations. The length is marked by some bitterness which however accentuates the fruity character of the wine.

During late-ripening vintage years: the mineral expression develops through the acidity. The latter becomes the aromatic core of the wine.

Romain ILTIS
Best Sommelier of France, 2012 and Meilleur Ouvrier de France, 2015 (in the Sommelier category)

Choose and serve

Principal wine pairings

Bruderthal wines call for water-inspired dishes, with or without salt. Seafood eaten plain or accompanied by creamy sauces provides an interesting association of tastes. Mussels marinière or with cream or warm oysters are the ultimate winners. River-based products - generally served with creamy sauces - like frogs or crayfish, also allow Bruderthal wines to distinguish themselves without ever overriding the savoury dishes.

Romain ILTIS
Best Sommelier of France, 2012 and Meilleur Ouvrier de France, 2015 (in the Sommelier category)

Accords majeurs

Les vins du Bruderthal appellent des plats d’inspiration aquatique, avec ou sans iode. Les fruits de mer, préparés nature ou accommodés de sauces onctueuses permettront une association intéressante de saveurs. Les moules, à la marinière ou à la crème, les huîtres chaudes, emporteront l'adhésion. Les produits de rivière qui sont généralement accompagnés d’une sauce crémée, telles les grenouilles ou écrevisses, permettront elles aussi aux vins du Bruderthal de se distinguer tout en soulignant la saveur des plats.

Romain ILTIS
Meilleur Sommelier de France 2012 & Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2015  

Bruderthal diaz2
Bruderthal zvardon

Grand Cru Bruderthal

The terroir

The nature

Within an amphitheatre protected by cold winds, this marl-limestone terroir is well hydrated and warm, marvellously suited for producing both dry and dessert wines.


The Bruderthal Grand Cru is tucked into the hollow of a small terraced valley between 235 and 300m in altitude. Facing south-east, it overlooks the town of Molsheim. From this hill, walkers can see the Guirbaden castle, the Mont Sainte-Odile and the prominent spire of the Strasbourg Cathedral.


The brown calcareous soils lay on hard limestone rock from the local Muschelkalk and Lettenkohle dolostones. These deep soils at the peak are very rich in limestone pebbles. The water supply is low but the subjacent limestone rock can supply water to the vines. Rich in active limestone and very pebbly, these soils heat-up well despite a clay content of 30%. This is why vines blossom early in the season, thus extending their plant life. On the whole, these factors result in small productions which are perfect for making great wines. The authorised yield of Grand Cru Appellation is rarely reached here.


The Vosges mountain range peaks here at the Rocher de Mutzig at 1010m in altitude, forming a barrier against any bad weather coming from the west. There is little rainfall, around 700 mm per year. The south-east exposure and the steep slope allow the mid-hillside to benefit from a favourable thermal belt which is good for grape-ripening. Sitting a little back from the valley end, this terroir is also protected from cold north-west winds.

Grape varieties

The production of Vendanges Tardives and Sélection de Grains Noble is possible here and it represents 5 to 10% of the harvest.

The people

It's the monastic brothers Brudern, which gave their name to this lieu-dit as of the 14th century. Since, the wines of this Grand Cru aroused the interest of prestigious Strasbourg hospices but also of wine-makers who yearned to meticulously and patiently farm these vineyards like a cherished garden.

Heritage transmission

Bruderthal is cited as of 1316 in the farming possessions of the bishopric of Strasbourg, but it appears that Cistercian monks had already farmed this terroir well before this date:

«The grapes harvested and pressed on the Strasbourg bishopric’s press and the wines obtained were sent to the Cistercian monastery in Haute-Seille in the year 1249».

These men were devoted to their job and had a decisive influence in the region, giving their name to Bruderthal (Bruder means brother).

In 1505, the Civil Hospice of Strasbourg owned vineyards located in Bruderthal. The last parcel in the lieu-dit of Bruderthal, owned by the Episcopalian church of the Strasbourg diocese was given away in April, 1963. (Der Rebbau des Elsass - Médard Barth).

More recently, the historian Claude Muller pointed out that in 1829,

«Wine sales were radically encouraged in this canton as monasteries had the privilege of retail selling them for two months during the year exempted from farm fees.»

Today, the recognition of this Grand Cru is obvious, notably attested by its awards, on several occasions at the Concours des meilleurs Riesling du Monde. The wine-makers of Bruderthal Grand Cru strive to make their wines and terroir known, inviting wine connoisseurs to come meet them by the numerous guided tours they organise during the summer months. There is the Balade Gourmande (the first edition was in 2008) or during theMarathon du Vignoble d’Alsace for which they are partners.

Beloved vineyards and land

Vineyard work creates a respected intimate tie between the wine-makers of Brudhertal and the vines themselves, which is seen in their collective choices:

The up-keep and preservation of the ecological islands present (scree) is promoted by moderate cutting of the hedges and bushes. The usage of insecticides is limited to the official list of organically-approved products. Botrytis treatments are forbidden and natural ground cover is preferred to preserve the site’s ecosystem. Therefore total weed-control and usage of residual weedkillers is forbidden.

In parallel, the harvests are done by hand with grapes taken to the press whole. Thanks to the terroir characteristics of water and humidity level, exposure and early-ripening, the planting density has little influence on the harvested grape quality. In practice it varies from 4000 to 5000 vines per hectare. The parcels of land are usually planted horizontally like the slope. As for when young vines starts producing, wine-makers refer to the Cahier des charges Grand Cru (Grand Cru Specifications Book) in force and thus wait four years after planting the vine stocks to start harvesting.

Wine-makers strive to promote native yeasts, used only occasionally, and reserved for difficult vintage years. Chaptalisation is forbidden and acid adjustment tends to disappear. Ageing on lees is also preferred until the spring. The wines are clarified using filtering and the bottling takes place a few weeks before the following harvest.