Grand Cru



HENGST («stallion») rides these terroir wines toward peaks of vivacity with an energy that transcends time.

  • Soil type Marl-limestone-sandstone
  • Surface area in hectares 53,02
  • Exposure South, South-East
  • Village Wintzenheim
  • Altitude 270 to 360 metres
  • Grape varieties (in % per variety)
    • Gewurztraminer 48%
    • Pinot Gris 35%
    • Riesling 17%
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Grand Cru Hengst

The wines

Alsace grape varieties have found the chosen land with Hengst, promoting traditional noble varieties, but also Pinot Noir, remarkably typical of the original nature of this Grand Cru.

The terroir-tie

The terroir link

The Hengst Grand Cru wines are powerful, complex, dense with ripe acidity on the finish. These have great keeping potential as they develop more expression with age.

It’s in the production of this type of wine and through the key grape varieties and vintage years that Hengst Grand Cru wine-makers can identify themselves:

Riesling is structured with a high mineral complexity and extended, intense vivacity and ripe acidity on the finish. They are most often dry or taste dry.
Pinot Gris is smooth, rich, powerful and dense, but also reveals the same tartaric acidity on the finish.
Gewurztraminer and Muscat are highly complex, aromatic, generous, intense and rich, but have an extraordinary freshness on the finish – one bestowed by the Hengst.

Some vintage years produce sweet, almost dessert wines. The «Vendanges Tardives» and «Sélection de Grains Nobles» are able to express even better the Hengst structure.

Furthermore, this terroir, which has planted Pinot Noir (3.5%) for decades, produces wonderfully powerful, structured and complex red wines.

So yes, the Hengst Grand Cru is a grandiose terroirs with eloquent grape varieties as long as wine-makers can master the stallion …

This fiery terroir produces wines with character.

The full-bodied palate taste comes from a marl soil, both ample and massive, but also balanced by a blended and chiselled freshness from lingering terroir-specific sandstone.

Wines develop a generous and precise structure which allows each grape variety to be expressed majestically.

Riesling has an exuberance sculpted into a noble and draping body. Tasters have a sensation of vigour. This sensation is confirmed when tasting Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, combinations of intense substance. But these wines remain really divine as the resulting sensations give the palate both minerality and tenacity on the finish.

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

Choose and serve

In their youth, Hengst wines have a cheerful liveliness which after five years, leaves room for a more appeased structure.

The length is generally ample: mineral and with great intensity. This Grand Cru is distinguished at each vintage year by its solar mindset.

Lors de millésimes précoces : la matière ronde des vins allie la tension minérale de la pierre à fusil à une structure tendre, évoquant des arômes de fruits très mûrs. Gewurztraminer powerfully develops hints of coriander and dry fruits with refined balance.

Lors de millésimes tardifs : la nervosité de l'acidité émerge avec énergie de la matière. The minerality therefore becomes more marked by pebbles, bestowing these wines with a lighter expressive edge.

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

Principal wine pairings

The balance between roundness, full-bodied, intensity and vigour in Hengst wines allows them to accompany ample dishes. These qualities allow white meats and offal to reveal all their character. Pan-fried sweetbreads, kidneys with mustard, roasted veal or poultry all perfectly suit the noble and concentrated substance of this Grand Cru.

Seawater fish dishes are also particular embellished by the tension and minerality of these wines.

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

Hengst szvardon civa

Grand Cru Hengst

The terroir

The nature

Located to the south of where the Munster valley opens onto the Alsace plain, the Hengst hill leans against the mountains topped with the Hohlandsbourg Castle. From the top of this hill, walkers can savour an incredible view overlooking the plain and also of Colmar, just a stone’s throw away. A Roman ruin, probably an observatory, is visible in the Grand Cru.


The Hengst Grand Cru covers 53 hectares. Its rounded prominent hilltop overlooks the locality of Wintzenheim.
The Grand Cru is located on the hillside with mainly east exposure. Its centre forms a basin like an amphitheatre. The slopes are variable: very steep in the middle of the hillside, less steep towards the top and pans out near the base. The vineyards are terraced out between 270 and 360m.


Hengst is composed of brown calcareous, sandstone and clayey soils associated with Oligocene-epoch conglomerates.
These highly-pebbly soils come from Muschelkalk limestone, intermingled with clay. The presence of numerous pebbles enhances the vines root-taking process.
These soils can heat-up easily, due to the structure and colour of the soil as well as to the slope. The useful water supply is average, but the conglomerate provides water if needed.


The highest Vosges peaks (Honeck, 1362 m) protect the Wintzenheim region from the west winds. Colmar has the least rainfall in France with about 550 mm per year. Protected by the Hohlandsbourg, the Hengst hillside is sheltered from the fresh winds which blow around the Munster valley. This situation could be inconvenient during the springtime frost period. Fortunately, Hengst is high enough above the plain to be spared from this problem.

Grape varieties

Gewurztraminer particularly likes this terroir. The water supply is sufficient without being excessive, allowing for a full ripening. The other grape varieties, Pinot Gris and Riesling, are also happy in this area. The same goes for Pinot Noir which is still not considered as a Grand Cru in the specifications book.

The people

The wine-makers take good advantage of this terroir which is simultaneously blessed, generous and demanding. Mentioned for the first time in 786, some say it was able to produce wines which had the same qualities as a stallion: ardour, power and vivacity (Hengst means «stallion» in the Alsace dialect).

Heritage transmission

Wintzenheim, home to Hengst, has always been a wine region with its name being a variation of the word «winzer» (wine-maker), explains Hubert Meyer. The locality is mentioned for the first time in texts from an allocation of the Murbach abbey in 786.