Grand Cru



Svelte and refined, Riesling nestles perfectly within this large terroir curve.

  • Soil type Sandy-sandstone
  • Surface area in hectares 12.52
  • Exposure South-West, South-East
  • Village Andlau
  • Altitude 250 to 300 metres
  • Grape varieties (in % per variety)
    • Riesling 96%
    • Pinot Gris 4%
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Grand Cru Wiebelsberg

The wines

The terroir-tie

Wine specificities

Two different wine styles express the terroir specificity

The first is along the lines of the terroir-specific identity with dry wines from ripe grapes with a minimum of botrytis. When young, these wines express a complex and distinct fruitiness, often accompanied by flowers and spices. Their acidity is soft, direct, crystalline: elegant. They also release great touches of bitterness. When ageing, their native fruit is replaced by the singular minerality of this terroir.

The second is that of the sweet wines resulting from Vendanges Tardives (late harvest) or Noble Grain Selection. These wines come from grapes harvested with botrytis or noble rot. These are outstanding wines expressing elegance and finesse on the palate, so characteristic of this Wiebelsverg Grand Cru.

This terroir is the association of a rare finesse and distinct mineral touch.

On first approach, Wiebelsberg wines often produce a sensation of softness before going on to unveil their full character. A straightforward, direct and often rough acidity elegantly unravels and so typical of sandstone. The substance is usually generous and vivacious. A subtle almost contained length but a virtually interminable salinity.

This elerant minerality is expressed in all grape varieties. Each one expresses its individual aromatic note on the middle mouth. Riesling expresses its natural pallet of citrus fruits whereas Muscat bursts forth with its fruity character. Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer generously reveal their fruity virtues. Then everything disappears, allowing the minerality of this cru to dominate the finish.

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

Choose and serve

Vintage years

When they come from beautiful vintage years, Wiebelsberg wines can age up to thirty years. But even very young, when there is more fruitiness than minerality, they can be appreciated.

  • 2001: Great vintage year for its acidity and concentration
  • 2002: Vins de temps (late-harvest wines), with great acidities
  • 2003: A vintage year with warmth and fruit, wonderful quality for Wiebelsberg, concentrated wines
  • 2004: Vintage year with botrytis, great acidities
  • 2005: Great vintage year, perfect balance
  • 2006: Vintage year with botrytis, very atypical for this terroir, singular and appealing
  • 2007: Very good vintage year: sun, early-ripening, beautiful acidity
  • 2008: Very good vintage year
  • 2009: Vintage year with roundness and fruit
  • 2010: Remarkable vintage year, beautiful acidities.
  • 2011: A fruity vintage year

Wiebelsberg is a Grand Cru which fully expresses itself at all evolution levels. When young, the vivacious wine attack provides a pleasant and delectable liveliness. After 5 to 6 years, the minerality is more present and slightly strengthens the substance, giving a saline and refined sensation.

In early vintages: the initial sensation of generosity in the mouth becomes stronger until the structure reaches its full tautness. These are wines which open-up quicker, giving an extensive sensation on the length.

In late vintages: more nervy wines that titillate the tastebuds. The grape varieties give a sensation of fresher fruit with a refined but intense length.

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

Wine and food pairing

The mineral length is decisive for pairing with food dishes. Here the association with sea products, notably molluscs or seafood platters is highly recommended. Whether they are plain, roasted or cooked, scallops, elms or oysters are ideally paired, revealing their aromatic and salty intensity.

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


Grand Cru Wiebelsberg

The terroir

The nature

With its steep slopes and sandy soil, Wiebelsberg is considered a hot terroir. Composed of brown-pink sandstone sand, the soil is light and homogeneous in the upper part and more clayey and pebbly in the lower half.


Wiebelsberg is located on the municipality of Andlau which boasts three Grands Crus in all (Moenchberg, Kastelberg and Wiebelsberg), each rooted within a complex and diverse geology. As for Wiebelsbergen, it is situated to the north, bordering on the Kastelberg Grand Cru on the Crax hill.


The substrate of this Grand Cru is made of upper Vosges sandstone which is masked downstream by deposits of soliflucted materials from the Quatenary period. The sandstone is mostly made of quartz grains cemented by a siliceous or ferruginous matrix – intercalated. The soils are sandy and porous: they heat quickly. Their steep slope benefits from all the heat restored by the rocks. A south-west and south-east exposure, an altitude between 250 and 300 m and a river at the bottom of the valley are all factors which create a favorable microclimate for producing Grand Cru wines.


This very steep terroir (50 to 100%) facing due south, screened by the west and east, benefits from optimum sunshine. It is protected from the west winds by the Champ du Feu massif, the peak of the Bas-Rhin (1100m). In the same way, the Crax protects it from the cold north winds. The useful water reserve is fairly weak, however it can take advantage of the water coming from mountain sources. It’s an early-ripening terroir suggesting a long growing period.

Average rainfall is approximately 700 mm per year. The more rainy years boost the wine quality.

Grape varieties

Riesling literally makes the Wiebelsberg terroir beautiful. Since there is a controlled vine-growth, cryptogamic diseases, particular grey rot, are not really to be feared. During favourable years, this healthy condition allows for harvests when grapes are overripe in order to produce some great Vendanges Tardives.

The people

The village of Andlau boasts a rich history dating back most probably to the Gallo-Roman period. Visitors can admire a magnificent abbey where the first stones were laid in 880, two fortified castles and also many other vestiges. Wiebelsberg Grand Cru already appeared in the classification of Alsace Grands Crus published in 1852 in the Rhineland ampelography by Stoltz.

Heritage transmission

Most historians are convinced that the site of this village was already occupied during the Gallo-Roman time, but what is certain is that the genuine origin of Andlau is tied to an important figure in Alsace history: Richardis of Swabia, daughter of the Count of Alsace, Erchangar 1st of Swabia, who became the Carolingian Empress of the West after having married Charles the Fat.

Legend has it that in the year 880, or thereabouts, Empress Richardis was at Mont St Odile when an angel appeared to her in a dream and said: «on the spot where you see a bear, you shall build an abbey dedicated to the Virgin Mary.» It was while passing through the Val d’Eleon forest that Richardis saw a bear scratching in the dirt who then came and lay down at her feet. Richardis took note of this place and had an abbey built which quickly prospered: the good reputation of this institution drew-in a large number of young girls from Alsace and Germany gentry.

Because Emperor Charles the Fat  was too weak to govern his kingdom, it was Richardis who took on this difficult role. She remained in power until a number of jealous courtiers succeeded in persuading the emperor to repudiate her. She withdrew to her abbey where she spent the rest of life praying and doing charity work. She died in the year 900 and was canonised in 1049 by the Pope Leo IX.

In memory of this legend, the bear is omnipresent in Andlau: in the church, conventual buildings, courtyards, and gardens where he is seen decorating the wells and fountains.

Over the centuries, the abbey was consecrated by the Pope Leo IX and became a pilgrimage place dedicated to the Virgin Mary and to which was also added the cult of Saint Richardis. This onset of pilgrims required the building of new houses and this is how the village slowly came into being around this sacred site. The nobles of the gown and of the sword as well as knight orders such as the Templars or the Teutonic Knights settled in this town, seduced by its beauty and perhaps also by the charm of the gracious abbey residents who still hadn’t taken their oaths. To provide for the pilgrim needs, vines were replanted on the sunny slopes all around the Val d’Eleon. Since this time, wine-growing has never ceased in Andlau.

Pierre Radmacher

Beloved vineyards and land

Wiebelsberg wine-makers were the precursors in undertaking more environmentally-respectful farming practices in vineyards. As of 1983 in this Grand Cru, we applied integrated farming methods against diseases and insects, using organic means and biodynamic approaches,» explains Rémy Gresser, adding:

Our role consists of maintaining a healthy environment where the balance between fauna and flora allows vineyards to regulate exchanges with the natural environment – soil, water – the area which participates in the life-cycle.

The same desire for balance led Andlau wine-grows to define, during the 1960’s, a plan for grape varieties, still respected today, which bestows significant importance to Riesling. This choice was neither a coincidence nor the result of short term self-serving interest, but adopting a growing-method which the Doctor Jean-Louis Stoltz already recommended in his Rhineland Ampelography in 1852.

Riesling needs soft soils, well-exposed with acidity to develop its minerality and here, around the rocks, the conditions are ideal to produce great wines.

explains Marc Kreydenweiss. (Victor Canales-Synvira)