Grand Cru



Rosacker owes its name to a wild rose bush. The wines produced on these hillsides have the same refined composition of purity and complexity.

  • Soil type Dolomitic limestone
  • Surface area in hectares 26.18
  • Exposure East, South-East
  • Village Hunawihr
  • Altitude 260 to 330 metres
  • Grape varieties (in % per variety)
    • Riesling 65%
    • Gewurztraminer 23%
    • Pinot Gris 12%
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Grand Cru Rosacker

The wines

Rosacker wines are pure and complex, marked by a strong personality. They leave a long lingering finesse in the mouth.

The terroir-tie

The late-ripening and dry nature of this terroir as well as the shadow provided by the Vosges mountain range gives a slow and healthy grape maturing cycle. This bestows wines with wonderful aromatic purity (not much botrytis) as well as a great complexity (linked to slow maturing cycle).

The deep soil provides regular water and mineral supplies, guaranteeing homogeneous maturing. Therefore, there are very few physiological problems with the vines due to heat waves or water stress.

The wines are never tannic or dried out. The calcium-magnesic soil is naturally poor in potash. This results in less tartaric acid salification, giving wines a powerful acidic structure. Rosacker wines therefore stand out with their highly ripe, very «tartaric» acidity.

In short, Rosacker wines have a pureness and complexity that's free of any bitterness or grilled aromas. Riesling is dry, intense and concentrated. It has ripe, but not overripe aromas. The palate generally reveals a beautiful salinity which reinforces the wine exuberance. As for Gewurztraminer, mildly rich, but rarely sweet. It associates the natural richness of the grape variety to the terroir-specific freshness. Therefore, Gewurztraminer from Rosacker is never heavy. Pinot Gris can be dry or sweet but even here, the acidity and salinity guarantee the balance.

This terroir has one of the strongest personalities in the wine-growing area.

It’s a lieu-dit which gives full-bodied touches to the wine with its exuberance and structure.

The finish of this Grand Cru is subtle and distinct, giving these singular wines an almost never-ending length!

Riesling offers a variety of plant and refined notes such as bay, honeysuckle and acacia. Pinot Gris evolves onto fresh white fruits whereas Gewurztraminer gives fragrant and captivating notes of spring flowers.

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

Choose and serve

Vintage years

Rosacker has wonderful ageing potential.

Over time, Riesling wines develop fine mineral notes,but never too «petrolly». Their palate gains in mouthfeel and harmony. Gewurztraminer wines keep their vivacity and develop potential aromatic complexity. Pinot Gris wines gain in mouthfeel without losing their initial freshness.

Young wines have a certain austerity and give a taut sensation. But after four years, the palate gains in mouthfeel. The wines of this Grand Cru then offer all their aromatic and mineral potential .

In early vintages: When ripe, the mouth structure provides a round sensation. The plant and refined notes come together, associated with dried flowers and beeswax. A typical salinity of gunpowder is distinctly released.

In late vintages: The wine is very straightforward in the mouth and its substance is more lively. This sharp essence sets off the aromatic expression in multiple notes of fresh herbs, minerality and gunpowder.

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

Aromatic herbal notes are wonderful taste detonators. Fish, scallops and marinated meats, as a tartar or en papillote, usually combined with herbs, deliciously pair with the intense aromatic presence of this Grand Cru. Dishes associating flowers are also perfect. With its floral notes, Gewurztraminer is also great with red-fruit desserts.

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


Grand Cru Rosacker

The terroir

The nature

Balance characterises this great terroir which favours Riesling with its late-ripening and marl-limestone composition. The very-tempered microclimate stimulates slow-ripening and gives wines great ageing potential.


Located on the municipality of Hunawihr, Rosacker Grand Cru forms a rectangle stretching over the north side of the village and rising up to the entrance of the closed vale at the top of the village. Located between 260 and 330 metres high, the east/south-east hillside overlooks the Alsace plain.

If the slope is gentle in the lower and middle part, the upper part is much more accentuated without ever having required terraces being built.


Created during the German Triassic geological period, Rosacker sits on a Muschelkalk and Lettenkhole parent rock. The latter is shelly sedimentary limestone dating back 235 to 245 million years ago, more or less dolmotised.

The calci-magnesic marl and sandstone soil of the Rosacker Grand Cru contains limestone and dolomite pebbles. About 1.50 metres-deep on average and with a heavy texture, its structure is nevertheless aerated by siliceous talus from Vosges sandstone. The water reserves are good (150 mm of useful water supply on average). The slope here is gentle and moderate. It does however become steeper in the upper part and at the entrance of the closed vale near the top of the village.


The proximity of Rosacker with the sheltering Vosges mountain range provides it with a fresher and drier climate than neighbouring vineyards. For these reasons, the Rosacker terroir is considered as late-ripening and dry. Protected by the closed Hunawihr vale, Rosacker does not suffer from the Vosges valley winds.

Grape varieties

Rosacker is not an extreme terroir. Quite the opposite with its soil depth, due-east direction, its late-ripening and dry character and little wind exposure, it gives vineyards consistent ripening conditions. Therefore all Alsace grape varieties are suited to Rosacker and this, regardless of the vintage year. However, the terroir-resistance to summer droughts and its late-ripening character are particularly perfect for Riesling which acquires great intensity while preserving its purity.

The people

Rosacker Grand Cru is inseparable from the Hunawihr village history including the famous fortified church which has since become one of the symbols for the Alsace wine-growing area.

Rosacker wines are mentioned as of 1483. At this time, the Dukes of Wurtemberg administered the region and monitored the quality of good crus highly-appreciated by the dignitaries of the Holy Roman Empire. Rosacker was watched over by the three castles belonging to the Lords of Ribeaupierre ruling the area, and attracted renowned nobles and bourgeois to the wine-growing municipality.

Like many villages of the Vosges piedmont plain, Hunawihr can thank winegrowers for its very existence. It was by the donation of vineyards from Lord Hunon at the Saint-Dié monastery that its name appeared in history during the 7th century. Located between Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr, it participated over time in the Alsace wine-growing prosperity, adding the mark of its terroir and its poetic legends. One of them says that on an autumn day, as the wine-growers were returning to the village after a sad harvest in a vineyard ravaged by bad weather, Hune, the wife of Hunon, miraculously managed to have the best wine in the region burst forth from the fountain where she was washing clothes for the poor.

This benefactress was canonised after her death, whereas the municipality hillsides took turns in sharing this miraculous fountain.

All throughout the Middle Ages, the Hunawihr vineyard supplied the wine cellars for the Dominicans in Basel and Fribourg-en-Brisgau and later those of the Lords of Horbourg and their successors, the Counts of Wurtemberg.

During the 14th century, according to a local paper, as some villages were paying their fees by delivering capons, red wine or money to their lords, Hunawihr only delivered white wine. (Victor Canales - Synvira)