Family vinegrowers and winemakers since 1810
Seven generations and two centuries have passed since the founding of Domaines Schlumberger. In 1810, Nicolas Schlumberger established his vineyards on the renowned, sunny slopes above the town of Guebwiller. Before him the Romans, as early as 207AD, and then the Prince Abbots of Murbach, recognised and farmed this vineyard site. Through successive generations the holding has grown from the original few small plots to one of France’s largest and finest vineyards. Seventh generation Alain Beydon-Schlumberger runs the domaine.
GRAND CRU VINEYARDS
With a holding of more than 140 hectares of vineyards, Domaines Schlumberger are not only the largest owners of vineyards in Alsace, but also have the largest Grand Cru area. Their vineyards cover nine kilometres along the south facing slopes of the Vosges Mountains, maximising the sunshine, and include four Grand Cru sites which represent more than 50% of the domaine. Yields are kept deliberately low, often a necessity on the steeper slopes of light sandy soil which can be as much as 60º . The vines are horizontally planted in rows protected by 50 kilometres of dry-stone walls to prevent soil erosion.
The terraced slopes of Grand Cru Kitterlé (The Calf Breaker) face south-west, south and south-east on free-draining, sandy soils permitting yields of only 25hl/ha. The resultant concentration of flavours, with a mineral quality and fine acidity, give the wines exceptional ageing potential.
Grand Cru Kessler (The Small Basin) faces south-east and, as it names suggests, has a valley-like depression at its centre which shelters vines from the north winds and cold draughts. With slightly richer clay soils, its unique microclimate and yields of 30hl/ha, the wines are generally quite supple and well balanced with pronounced floral aromas.
To the north-east of Guebwiller the Grand Cru Saering (The Ring) vineyard faces South-East to East. With a subsoil of sandstone pebbles interspersed with layers of marl, deeper deposits of clay, heavy sandy marl and rocks, the site is ideal for Riesling. Yields of around 30hl/ha produce wines that are typically floral with pronounced fruit flavours on the palate and the driest character of all the Grand Crus.
The most easterly of the vineyards is Grand Cru Spiegel (The Mirror) with its mixed soil of sandstone pebbles, clays and marls. The vines yield around 35hl/ha of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer to produce aromatic, opulent, wellstructured wines. Some of the late harvest sweet wines are sourced here.
LES PRINCES ABBÉS
Named after the Prince Abbots who owned the vineyard from the 9th to the 18th century, Schlumberger’s classic range of Alsace varietals, like all their wines, is sourced from their own vineyards. In fact the fruit from the Grand Cru vines under ten years old is used in the blend of these wines. They show classic varietal characteristics backed by the consistency of quality derived from the use of Grand Cru grapes. Similar to the second wines of the great Châteaux of Bordeaux, Les Princes Abbés represents a taste of Grand Cru wines at an everyday level.
Visit the web site for Domaines Schlumberger