Grand Cru



Wines from this terroir express integrity, sharp as the slate from which it grows. Here Riesling is structured and extraordinarily precise.

  • Soil type Slate
  • Surface area in hectares 5,82
  • Exposure South-East
  • Village Andlau
  • Altitude 240 to 300 metres
  • Grape varieties (in % per variety)
    • Riesling 100%
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Grand Cru Kastelberg

The wines

Kastelberg wines have a solid acidic backbone with a very generous mouthfeel and an astonishingly long finish. These are excellent vin de garde (wines for ageing)

The terroir-tie

The identity of this terroir lies in its structure which is unusually precise.

Riesling rules on this crystalline terroir. A graphite and stone spirit marks the wine minerality. The natural varietal tautness matches perfectly with the terroir acidity to express all the finesse of this soil, releasing its purity on the finish.

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

Choose and serve

Vintage years and ageing

It’s a terroir which opens up after 4 to 5 years. Even young, the structural finesse is there but after some ageing years a real harmony unfolds all the potential and precision that this cru is capable of producing.

Lors de millésimes précoces : une chair plus généreuse laisse souvent une petite tendresse en sucre qui accentue l'esprit de finesse. The minerality expresses the warm stones or gunpowder.

Lors de millésimes tardifs : une structure plus tendue donne une sensation plus nerveuse tout en conservant une matière ciselée et précise. A long, extended and delectable finish marked by a smoky hint.

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

Wine and food pairing

The general finesse of these wines facilitates its pairings with many dishes. Fish in sauce, regardless of whether they are river or seawater-based, find their balance as the natural acidity of these wines refresh the palate. Crustaceans are enhanced by the wine minerality, especially in the length. The chiselled aspect allows any fish or seaweed-based Asian dishes to reveal all their finesses.

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

Kastelberg civa svardon
Kastelberg civa 4

Grand Cru Kastelberg

The terroir

The nature

Carved out of a block of Steige shale, Kastelberg has great geological unity. This very hard and black rock forces grapes to dig deep into the soil and subsoil, creating wines with strong personality.


On the small municipality of Andlau there are three Grands Crus clustered together: Wiebelsberg, Moenchberg and Kastelberg which is the smallest in surface area, with 5.82 ha.

As often in Alsace, the concentration of multiple factors in a confined area plays a fundamental role. Here the terroir is not only very exposed to the sun but it also sits on a steep slope with the incline reaching up to 45° in some places. Producers have overcome these steep slopes by building many small terraces supported by dry stone walls.


The terroir has nearly-perfect geological unity. It sits on shale having evolved through metamorphism in a very hard rock, providing very pebbly and porous soil. The slivers of shale rock allow for deep root systems which is perfect for normal vitality even in drought years. Dating from the Silurian period, this geological formation is among the oldest around. The rock is made of quartz, mica and chlorite.

In the upper part of Kastelberg there are some outcrops of granite and the soil at the bottom of the hill is a little richer with a gentler slope.


Here the Vosges and Rhineland faults are intermingled and the Kastelberg vineyard is directly located on the base of the Andlau valley outlet on the Alsace plain.

It is protected from fresh ocean winds by the Champ du Feu massif and from the north winds by the Crax mountain. The extremely steep slope faces south/south-east, allowing it to have a maximum of sunshine. Moreover, its dark Steige-shale earth heats up well, especially in the spring.

Grape varieties

The varietal which feels the most at home and which expresses itself fully is the Riesling.

The people

Even if, due to its geography and climate, this Grand Cru seems like a demanding terroir, it always arouses passion and unfailing and total devotion.

Heritage transmission

Christophe Reibel (Synvira) traces a brilliant connection between the ancient past of Kastelberg and the extremely lively presence of wine-makers today: «The Romans had planted a vineyard there. A document mentions the production of great wines in this terroir in 1064, probably because one of its most faithful drinkers was none other than the Alsace-born pope Leo IX, directly supplied by the Andlau abbey production which was then placed under his direct authority. In 1850, it was the first Andlau terroir to appear on a wine bottle label.»

Jean-Louis Stoltz (1777-1869) was not the first person to be interested in this cru, so particular with its unique soil and grape variety. An ex-officer of the Republic’s Army Heath Service, he enjoyed a golden retirement here as of 1820. His passion for wine and Kastelberg had him experimenting varietal collections where Riesling came out as the winner. He also invested in purchasing numerous parcels in Kastelberg which was still owned by the Andlau abbey. On one of these parcels, at mid-slope, he built a small house with columns and capitals of which only the foundation remains today. The local inhabitants baptised it the chalet and became a place for rest, scientific observations and writing. It is here that Jean-Louis Stoltz wrote most of his ampelography in 1852.

L’ouvrage demeure à ce jour le seul et unique répertoriant les différents cépages et les variétés de plantes présentes dans la vallée du Rhin. This Alsace wine-growing area owes this wine-lover the selection of its Riesling vine stock and the inventory as well as the classification of its best terroirs, a work which later served as a key feature in the hierarchisation of the Alsace and Alsace Grand Cru appellations. Following in his father’s footsteps, Alexis Stoltz pursued this family work by continuing to purchase vineyards in Kastelberg, thanks to his wealth earned from being the privileged gynaecologist to the most prominent lady in Europe. Having no heir, he left a little over a hectare of Kastelberg to the charitable and humanitarian foundation with his name and which is still the owner today.

More recently in the 60’s there was the more common phenomenon of city-dwellers enjoying Sunday car-outings, reminder that the Kastelberg Riesling was enjoyed at this time without ever really saying its name, sold by the glass in Andlau restaurants. But the time for anonymity was over. Since the beginning of the eighties, spurred on by vineyard visits organised by the Confrérie des Hospitaliers du Haut d’Andlau, the Grand Cru wine-makers rediscovered this heritage.