Grand Cru



This block of stone, chiselled out by wine-growers as of the 6th century, unravel all the finesse of limestone.

  • Soil type Limestone
  • Surface area in hectares 40.60
  • Exposure South, South-East
  • Village Marlenheim
  • Altitude 200 to 300 metres
  • Grape varieties (in % per variety)
    • Gewurztraminer 44%
    • Riesling 29%
    • Pinot Gris 27%
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Grand Cru Steinklotz

The wines

Steinklotz wines are fine, energetic and boast long ageing potential. Riesling evokes minerality and finesse. Gewurztraminer is full of spices. And the limestone provides finesse and character to Pinot Noir..

The terroir-tie

Wine specificities

The general spirit of Steinklotz wines is focused around tautness.

It’s a wine which finds its energy in the intense freshness. The substance is withheld by this exuberance which is expressed in a linear and refined manner. The natural expression of the grape varieties is sublimated. The length is generally fresh, marked by floral and mentholated hints.

This terroir gives Riesling a noble, somewhat strict character. Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer keep a pleasant succulence and elegantly unfold its aromatic pallet.

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

Choose and serve

Vintage years

Steinklotz wines are distinguished by their long ageing potential. It is preferable to wait at least three years, allowing the minerality to be fully expressed.

These are wines which truly come alive after 3 to 4 years to then slowly smooth out over time.

During late-ripening vintage years: the wine integrity is highlighted, providing a lively sensation which pans out along the palate.

During early-ripening vintage years: the wine body is more concentrated, giving a sensation of more flesh fullness which coats the palate.

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

Wine and food pairing

The fresh sensation of the wine is the key element to food pairing. So regional cuisine (stews, smoked meats …) are great here, just like fried products. The refined tautness smoothes out the palate, erasing the dish-fatty sensation and allowing for fantastic aromatic intensity urging you to pursue your culinary experience.

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


Grand Cru Steinklotz

The terroir

The nature

With a great exposure to the south, made mostly of limestone, the Steinklotz Grand Cru sits at the northern entrance of the Route des Vins. This early-ripening terroir bestows these Alsace grape varieties with a wonderfully subtle expression.


Twenty metres to the west of Strasbourg, Steinklotz marks the beginning of the Alsace Route des Vins, introducing a long strip of exceptional terroir leading to Rangen de Thann to the south.

This Grand Cru stretches from the Kronthal sandstone cliff towards the Marlenberg chapel to the east. On clear days, when walking along the Stations of the Cross pathway lower down, the Strasbourg cathedral can be seen on the horizon.

A sloped terroir (20 to 30%) and a due-south exposure make Steinklotz an outstandingly favourable site for vines.


This brown calcareous-magnesium soil comes from Muschelkalk and Lettenkohle limestone formations. The hard calcareous bedrock forms compact stone blocks, hence the name of Steinklotze. Within the steep slope of the Grand Cru, the pebbly-earth layer is sometimes only 20 cm thick and elsewhere it can reach 50 to 100 cm per siltage. These are soils which heat easily during the spring but their water reserve is limited. Nevertheless, the fissured parent rock supplies water to the vines.


Located on the Marlenberg hill, the Grand Cru is mostly exposed to the south and partially to the east, benefiting from excellent sunshine. The Vosges peaks located several kilometres away allow the sunrays to bathe the hillsides until late in the evening. The steep slopes stimulate maximum solar energy. Steinklotz has all the right conditions to obtain very ripe grapes.

Grape varieties

This northern vineyard has slow and late-ripening grapes.

The poor and highly-pebbly soil has always been farmed to produce top-quality Pinot Gris, even if this variety is not yet recognised as a Grand Cru.

The white grape varieties are found mostly on the dispersed clayey or sandy areas which are a little more humid, with a partiality for Gewurztraminer.

The people

So many stories to be told about this «stone block» (steinklotz)! One of its particularities resides in the fact that it was red wines which made the area famous: the Roter Marlheimer (red wine from Marlenheim) was praised by poets and writers and the wine-makers today still venerate its existence.

Heritage transmission

Steinklotz literally means «stone block», evoking the rocks so characteristic of this terroir.

In his chronicle about the History of the Franks, Grégoire de Tours says that in 589, the King Childebert found out his governess and lover were plotting against him and condemned the former to turn the mill which produced the flour and the latter, after cutting off her ears, had the lifelong sentence of caring for the closed royal vineyards.

In 595, the son of Childebert, Thierry II, became Duke of Burgundy after having spent all his youth in Marlenheim. Some people believe that if the Marlenheim wine-growing area is mainly planted with Pinot Noir it’s because the latter is the emblematic grape variety in Burgundy.

La dislocation du pouvoir des mérovingiens laisse une foule de propriétaires sur le vignoble de Marlenheim bénéficiaires des largesses royales . But the Haslach abbey, among others, laid claim on their numerous vineyards based on the donations from King Dagobert granted in 613.

Besides the monarchs and the Haslach abbey, the abbeys of Wissembourg, Marmoutier and Andlau shared the wine-growing area, until the city of Strasbourg became the owner of this locality from the 13th century to the French Revolution.

During the 16th century, with the invention of the printer, poets and writers became inspired by the boni vini rubri. Fischart qualified Marlenheim wine as a «delight», referring to the red wine from Saint Hippolyte: Roter Marlheimer und von S. Bild, o wie milt . The chronicler Bernard Hertzog cited Marlenheim in 1592 as the town of good wine: Das Stäten Marley ist berümbt von Gewächs gutes Roten Weins

According to legend, the Marlenheim chapel was built in 1683 by three brothers who, during a storm at sea, had made a wish. S If they were saved, they would build, upon their return, a chapel in their village. So the Marlenheim chapel was built and enlarged in 1772 by the first parish priest, Ignace Klein. The Stations of the Cross within the chapel were edified in the same years, financed by the rich wine-makers in the village.

There's another story, dating back to the French Revolution (1789), about the priest Lerps and his secret religious services held in Marlenberg chapel. To save the chapel from inevitable destruction, it was declared being the home of the village warden. Legend has it that this priest used to store away a small barrel of Marlenheim red wine in a secret hiding place behind the chapel. This hiding place is still visible today but the barrel has disappeared…

Menus from the 19th century reveal the importance of these local wines during outstanding banquets which were organised and their incredible aptitude for ageing. During the jubilee dinner on December 18, 1884, Marlenheim wines from 1835, 1865 and 1878 were served and for the wedding night on October 10, 1891, there were again Marlenheim wines from 1876 …. Between 6 and 49 years old!3428/>

Victor Canales

Beloved vineyards and land

Specific regulations

Spur-pruning, turning the soil and grass cover are becoming more popular in Steinklotz. Spur-pruning and grape thinning along the rows are also evermore popular practices.

On top of that, wine-growers undertake the maintenance of the embankments and dry-stone walls as well as preserving a certain biodiversity.

Pinot Noir adapts marvellously to this calcareous terroir of Steinklotz. This is why wine-growers are rallying together to make this grape variety be recognised as an AOC just like the other noble white grape varieties.