Grand Cru

Kirchberg de Barr


Like a keystone holding edifice, this terroir offers a powerful and refined structure to its wines.

  • Soil type Marl-limestone
  • Surface area in hectares 40,63
  • Exposure South-East
  • Village Barr
  • Altitude 220 to 350 metres
  • Grape varieties (in % per variety)
    • Gewurztraminer 53%
    • Riesling 30%
    • Pinot Gris 16%
    • Muscat 1%
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Grand Cru Kirchberg de Barr

The wines

Kirchberg de Barr wines all boast an inimitable fresh sensation on the palate which sublimates each grape variety. They ally aromatic finesse to a structured and powerful mouth. They have great ageing potential and can be kept for ten or twenty years without any problem.

The terroir-tie

Wine specificities

Riesling: it generally sports citrus fruit notes and an intense but fine nose which slowly evolves with the years, maintaining its finesse, even after ageing for more than 10 years. The palate is powerful and structured by subtle acidity.

Pinot Gris: its nose it slightly smoky and is distinguished by notes of ripe fruits. Its great acidity makes it a wine for fine dining, even able to support some residual sugar.

Gewurztraminer: this wine has a complex but fine nose. In general after ageing notes of spices, liquorice, roses, jasmine, menthol, truffle, honey and beeswax can be found. The palate is very harmonious and fresh, including the Vendanges Tardives and Sélections de Grains Nobles. A lengthy and fresh whole.

Muscat: a very fruity note, typical of the Muscat grape and the minerality of this Grand Cru.

The intensity of Kirchberg de Barr wines reveals the grandeur of this Grand Cru

Their structure is firm, imbued with a vigorous and refined acidity. When tasted, this freshness gives the sensation that the wine forms a base on the tongue allowing its aromatic complexity to be released. The wine length extends the intense line drawn in the middle mouth and boosts the expression of powerful minerality.

Cette ossature marque chaque cépage. This structure is the same in each variety. Riesling wonderfully reveals its natural tautness and its wines display a rare precision. Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer generously provide a full-bodied impression and are marked by notes of yellow fruits for the first and by various-nuanced roses for the second.

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

Choose and serve

Vintage years

The Riesling and Pinot Gris need some ageing time to fully express themselves. Over time they develop specific body qualities, delicate fruitiness and spicy aromas which are characteristic of marl-limestone terroirs. However, Gewurztraminer already have outspoken qualities even young with a fragrant floral and spicy overtone.
Kirchberg de Barr are wonderful vin de garde (wines for ageing).

If this Grand Cru is a little brut when young, after four or five years of ageing it will be more harmonious to then smooth out and age wonderfully.

Lors de millésimes tardifs : la pureté, la droiture, dominent à travers tous les cépages. They are undeniable winners with their veracity and minerality.

Lors de millésimes précoces : une légère enveloppe de matière apaise la vigueur des vins, qui ne perdent pas pour autant leur éclat. Their minerality is charmingly highlighted.

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

Wine and food pairing

With its distinct character, this cru would perfectly suit spicy, powerfully aromatic dishes. Fish tarts, pike quenelles and matelote are all very welcome as the full-bodies wine attenuates the creamy aspect of these dishes. Spicy Indian or Eastern dishes are toned down by the expression of Kirchberg de Barr wines.

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

Gourmet Gewurztraminer wines are easy to recommend thanks to their balance and terroir-specific freshness. These wines highlight perfect acidity for aromatic expression, wine balance and ageing potential.

Full and concentrated on the palate, boosted by the lively signature of noble vivacity, Pinot Gris reflects the qualities of wines made for fine dining.

Serge DUBS
Best Sommelier in the World, 2007


Grand Cru Kirchberg de Barr

The terroir

The nature

Kirchberg faces south-east, is sheltered from north winds by the hilltop forest and has a steep slope – all ideal conditions for harvesting wines with character. It’s a rich terroir full of clay (giving wines their intensity) and limestone (giving wines their mineral acidity).


Kirchberg de Barr Grand Cru is located to the east of the Champ du Fer massif on a sub-Vosges hillside overlooking Barr. The parcels stretch over a steep hillside, with slopes at 30° in some places, which roll down towards the town. It faces south-east with an altitude varying between 220 and 350m precisely above the church … hence its name.


Kirchberg de Barr is located at the south end of the Saverne fault mosaic. At the base is brown calcareous soil on Bajocian limestone and sits on Oligocene conglomerate further up. In certain places the soil contains more marl. Numerous limestone pebbles are present, encouraging deep-rooted vines. Its warming aptitude can be qualified being from average to good.


With its exposure, slope and altitude (220 to 350m), the hillside receives intense sunlight. Its temperatures are higher than the surrounding areas with the cold air heading downhill.

The marl-limestone, very pebbly nature of this Grand Cru allows it to capture and store heat from the day to release it at night. Finally, its south/south-east exposure shelters it from cold winds from the north. Last but not least,Kirchberg de Barr is a porous terroir, aerated from west to east, warm and thus wonderful for stimulating a slow but regular ripening of the grapes.

Grape varieties

Gewurztraminer is the majority and emblematic varietal in Kirchberg de Barr. Moreover the saying says that this hillside was the first to plant Gewurztraminer in Alsace.

Mais le Kirchberg est polyvalent, on y produit aussi bien de grands vins secs que de très beaux liquoreux. There is Pinot Noir, not yet recognised as a Grand Cru, but is totally at home on this terroir thanks to the warm microclimate and limestone soil. Each variety expresses and mirrors the Kirchberg typicity, its complexity and salinity.

The people

Aware of the varietal diversity in this Grand Cru, its wine-makers strive to perpetuate a wine-growing tradition identified as of the 18th century.

Heritage transmission

Kirchberg, literally translated by the word «church mount» owes its name to the Saint Martin Chapel once present at the top of this hillside.

The Barr vineyards are mentioned as of the 8th century in a document from the Fulda abbey. This abbey in the centre of Germany is to Rhine wines what Cîteaux is to Burgundy: it had a decisive influence on the boundaries and recognition of great Alsace terroirs, of which Kirchberg and many others.

Au XVIème siècle, Barr était une cité viticole importante avec 600 viticulteurs qui vivaient du fruit de la vigne. The small bell tower atop the former City Hall was intended at that time to forewarn the arrival of wine buyers in the town. (Victor Canales -Synvira)

Kirchberg was a known and appreciated lieu-dit as of 1760 but well before being officially chosen to be part of the Alsace Grands Cru this terroir was specifically reputed for the two Clos (walled vineyards) which it surrounds the Clos Zisserand the Clos Gaensbronnel.

Kirchberg de Barr was part of the 25 first lieux-dits to have the Grand Cru appellation in 1982.