Grand Cru



Kaefferkopf is a multi-faceted terroir, distinguished by the diversity of it geology and blended wines. It proposes a range of intense, nuanced and complex wines.

  • Soil type Granite-limestone
  • Surface area in hectares 71,65
  • Exposure East
  • Village Ammerschwihr
  • Altitude 230 to 350 metres
  • Grape varieties (in % per variety)
    • Gewurztraminer 55%
    • Riesling 30%
    • Pinot Gris 9%
    • Assemblage 6%
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Grand Cru Kaefferkopf

The wines

Kaefferkopf wines are intense, full-bodied and complex. Kaefferkopf wines are intense, full-bodied and complex. They often express spicy notes with a round attack on the mouth. They are also marked by fresh acidity with a beautiful, delicious finish. The elegant balance is due to the harmony between the lingering, generous attack along with the fresh finish.

The terroir-tie

Kaefferkopf crus are rarely empirically dry but they are, however, always marked by freshness. It’s this characteristic which assimilates them to the typicity of dry wines. They are wines which tend to become reduced: as they are often closed when young, it’s recommended to let them age 3-4 years or to decant them for a better taste.

Les sols lourds et profonds de ce terroir, dotés d'éléments fins tels que les argiles et limons, amènent de la structure et de la complexité aux vins. They also contribute to discerning minerality in the wines, as the terroir expression overpowers the varietal note of grape varieties.

Le Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Kaefferkopf est un vin complexe, qui enveloppe le palais pour atteindre un équilibre remarquable entre onctuosité, minéralité et finesse. It has a silky finish and beautiful acidity bestowing it with good persistence. It’s a wine which can be appreciated young but when kept for a few years it will fully express its true character.

Le jeune Riesling Kaefferkopf présente quant à lui un nez discret et de fins arômes de fleurs blanches. It’s a wine to be appreciated when young but if aged for a couple of years it will fully express its character. After a couple of years it develops all the distinct tastes characteristic of great wine-producing terroirs.

Le Pinot Gris Kaefferkopf développe au nez des notes de fruits à chair blanche, des arômes de marmelade et de pâte de fruits. On the palate it blends smoothness and freshness. The production of this cru is confidential.

Regardless the varietals or blending proportions undertaken by the wine-makers, the Kaefferkopf Grand Cru expresses its personality: wines develop a very expressive, distinguished fragrance and a balanced mouth with an elegant finish.

This multi-faceted terroir of Kaefferkopf provides tasters with rich and nuanced interpretations.

Single-varietal or blended Grand Cru wines often have a concentrated body, with both a sharp acidity and generous structure. The set fruity and succulent nature offers a delicately honey-like and delicious sensation.

Riesling has exuberance and evolves towards fresh citrus fruit notes.

Gewurztraminer is one of the masters of this Grand Cru. It develops a spicy, steady expression, evoking coriander and cloves. Blending these varieties unfolds the aromatic power of Gewurztraminer to the citrus fruit freshness of Riesling, offering structured wines associating tautness and tenderness.

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

Choose and serve

Vintage years

Kaefferkopf wines express themselves rapidly. After 3 to 4 years of ageing, they are ready! Riesling (when not blended) requires a longer time.

Lors de millésimes précoces : une acidité plus tendre renforce l’expression miellée des Riesling. Gewurztraminer sensually unveils complex notes of yellow fruits and pastry-like spices. Complex and intense, these blended wines are perfect when tasted alone.

Lors de millésimes tardifs : la franchise des arômes séduit. Fruit flesh and citrus fruits therefore characterise Riesling, and fresh mango for the Gewurztraminer. The blends are fresher and more delicious, marked by spicy notes and white pepper.

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

Gewurztraminer Kaefferkopf

A wine for fine cuisine. It perfectly pairs with foie gras, cheeses (Bleu de Bresse, Maroilles, Roquefort, Munster,...), as well as exotic and spicy dishes and slightly sweet desserts. But more audacious pairing doesn’t frighten this wine … for example it’s perfect with spicy-coated duck foie gras or crayfish in curry sauce.

Riesling Kaefferkopf

Seawater and river-based products can easily be exalted by Riesling Kaefferkopf wine, in particular cooked fish and crustaceans. But it would also be great with regional cooking – like a Baeckaoffa for example.

Pinot Gris Kaefferkopf

It pairs wonderfully with subtle and complex dishes like a «sweet and sour» duck breast fillet, goose foie gras or a Bresse fatted chicken.

Wine and food pairing

These are great wines to pair with fruit-accompanied dishes, the dominating flavour of these Grand Cru wines. Scallops with passion fruit, cod in orange juice …, the fruit ties the dish to the wine and harmoniously blends into the sweet-honey flavour. When dishes have spices (like North African or Indian meals), choosing Gewurztraminer or blended wines is a sure bet.

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

Kaefferkopf thomas civa
Kaefferkopf-zvardon civa 2

Grand Cru Kaefferkopf

The terroir

The nature

Kaefferkopf is characterised by its soil complexity, notably associating granite, limestone but also sandstone, and alluvial deposit. Optimum sunshine allows for slow-ripening of the grapes, especially for the dominant grape variety of Gewurztraminer.


Divided into several units which surround the charming village of Ammerschwihr, Kaefferkopf stretches over the back side of the Vosges mountain range. The wine-growing area of 71 hectares faces the east and south, nestled between three west-east facing valleys which are excluded from the Grand Cru boundaries. The vineyard slope goes from 35% at the peak and decreases to around 5% when touching the plain.


It is characterised by a complex geological substrate.

In the upper part, the vineyard mostly sits on granite – magmatic granite from northern Kaysersberg, and two-mica granite to the south.

The north-south facing fault area delimits a sagging compartment at the bottom of the slope which reveals sandstone from the Vosges, shelly limestone as well as Keuper-unit clay.

These entity-specific soils are enhanced with granitic talus fallen from the mountains. Some loess layers cover the various previous parent rocks.

Finally, the slope bottom which connects to the Rhine plain is alluvial deposit and essentially granite-based.

The shared characteristic of all these soils is their saturation in calcium and magnesium.


The vines are terraced between 230 and 350m in altitude, well sheltered from the Vosges mountain range. The latter culminates here at 1300m and protects the area from fresh and humid winds coming from the Atlantic. Consequently, rainfall here is about 600 mm a year. The sub-Vosges hills located to the north also protect Kaefferkopf from cold north winds. So here the vines boast a climate which favours early grape ripening regardless the variety.

Grape varieties

The four Grand Cru-authorised varietals are found here in this terroir with Gewurztraminer being the major variety. The upper vineyard does not encourage noble rot and is great for producing Vendanges Tardives.

The people

Kaefferkopf is the youngest Grands Crus d’Alsace, distinguished in 2007. A legitimate acknowledgement, owing everything to the perseverance of men who, long ago, had already identified this prosperous terroir. Today it is honoured by their Confrérie (Guild) and by an original tradition of blended wines.

Heritage transmission

The Kaefferkopf terroir was already mentioned as of 1338 in a land registry belonging to the Pairis abbey land registry in Ammerschwihr. It is also found in several works and theses throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

En 1931, les propriétaires de vignes de la commune d'Ammerschwihr, forts de la qualité et du succès commercial de leurs vins, demandent à protéger l'usage du nom Kaefferkopf auprès du Tribunal de Grande Instance de Colmar. Therefore in 1932 – about forty years after the appearance of the AOC Alsace Grand Cru, Kaefferkopf became the first lieu-dit to be recognised and delimited by means of a legal decision.

Depuis, l'ensemble de ces vignerons s'est engagé dans un respect du terroir, de la tradition viticole et de la qualité des vins. An authenticity rewarded in fine by being classed a Grand Cru in 2007, and illuminating the sky of the Alsace Grands Crus, like its fifty-first star.
Besides the historical aspect, let’s remember that the Ammerschwihr wine-makers were the first in Alsace to significantly undertake blending varietals to produce terroir wines, marketed under the name Kaefferkopf, without the standard varietal labelling.

Wine-makers also have their own guild, the Confrérie de Amis d’Ammerschwihr et du Kaefferkopf. Created in 1984, it presently has nearly a thousand ambassadors worldwide and has a wine-library boasting five thousand bottles of ancient vintage-year Kaefferkopf wines!

Beloved vineyards and land

Specific rules

Producing Kaefferkopf Grand Cru demands a rigorous respect of the specifications book, as well as following all the wine-growing aspects: environmental respect, number of buds per vine stock, vine density, foliage height, harvest dates, manual harvesting, yield management, grape ripening, cellar hygiene and oenological practices.

If blending varietals is not standard for the Alsace Grands Crus, this practice nevertheless has been accepted in Kaefferkopf.

The proportion of varietals for blending dates back to ancestral practices:

  • Gewurztraminer: between 60 and 80%
  • Riesling: between 10 and 40%
  • Pinot Gris: maximum 30%
  • Muscat: maximum 10%

Kaefferkopf is cultivated by around a hundred wine-makers from Ammerschwihr, Katzenthal and nearby municipalities of the Grand Cru. Their vines are fervidly maintained by wine-makers, aware of the necessity to respect the unique quality of this farmed site. Most of them have committed themselves to further respect this nature by undertaking sustainable, organic or biodynamic farming. Walkers can easily notice that the Kaefferkopf vineyards are mostly ploughed and covered with grass.