– Summer 2019-

Spring passed in a flash. It was cold with above average rainfall. So, the Alsace growing season started as most definitely on the “tardive” side. June switched that, where several days in the first two weeks saw maximum temperatures in the low 30 Cs. That produced a flourish of much needed growth in the vineyards. Nothing like a few sentences to summarise three months of weather.

We pruned our small vineyard of young vines in March, debudded in May and put up the plan de palissage at the same time.

We were pretty low-key on visits to Alsace winemakers during the Spring. We did manage lunch and a tasting with Jean-Pierre Frick down in Pfaffenheim, in the company of the wonderful Marc Tempé. We also managed an afternoon visit to the annual, last Monday in March event, with Jean-Pierre Rietsch, Catherine Riss, Lucas Rieffel and Antoine Kreydenweiss. This year the event was held at Jean-Pierre’s new set up in Mittelbergheim.

Then, fitting in with some business travel and family visits, we took advantage of dates aligning with a handful of wine fairs. First off the bat was the big jamboree, artisanal winemaker trade fair, that RAW LONDON has become. That same day just a short walk down The Strand from the RAW venue, we had the privilege of lunch with Doug Wregg at the bar in his Terroirs restaurant. Then we clocked into Vins Vivant Natural Wine fair, in Fribourg, Switzerland. That was followed by a quick drive back over the hills to the Jura, where Le Nez Dans Le Vert salon took place in the grandeur of Saline Royale d’Arc et Senans. This is the annual organic winegrowers fair in the Jura. Back to London a few weeks later, we arrived in time for Real Wine, held in the post-industrial setting of Tobacco Dock.

It was good to catch up with several of the Alsace producers at the fairs: Philippe Brand, Christian Binner, Farid Yashimi from Sons of Wine, Jean-Pierre Frick, Yann Durrmann, Christophe Lindenlaub, Vanessa Letort from Les Pirouettes, Jean Dietrich from Achillée.

Lots of images and associated smart-ass comments from the fairs, can be found on our Instagram feed.