Vigneron André, Jules & Fanny Kleinknecht
Location Mittelbergheim (Bas-Rhin), Alsace
Coverage 10 hectares
Viticulture Certified Biodynamic (Demeter)
Terroir Predominantly blends of limestone & marl stone with single parcels on granite. Grand Cru vineyards lie on steeps slopes with Southern to South Eastern expositions.
Back to Mittelbergheim, 20 minutes South of Strasbourg, with 20 winemaking families in a population of less than 1000. We are located at the centre of Bergheim, the village at Midway. There is a long list of great producers in Mittelbergheim, a specific concentration of those who farm organically and biodynamically. A community of pack leaders of the Alsatian ¨Less is more revival¨. André was the first to adopt these methods in the area, back in 1998.
The family works a range of Alsacian Grand Cru´s and lieux-dit vineyards contouring the village on the villages West side. The Domaine converted from organic farming to Biodynamic in 2012 with a full Demeter certification coming in 2014. Using indigenous yeasts, zero added sulfite in almost all cases, and no filtration or filtration by gravity. The intention is to produce wines that finish dry, that are persistent. The wines are progressive, displaying a freshness of approach and newness.
Varietal wines are issued from 3 main vineyards; Kirchberg de Barr Grand Cru at the North end of Mittelbergheim is planted to Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir. Steep south facing blocks of slopes made up of marl-limestone. 15ha are planted centrally with high exposure facing perfectly due south. Zotzenberg Grand Cru hugs the west side of the village with a southeastern exposure on the same marl-limestone. the Sylvaner here benefits from the softer soil and plentiful day time sun. Lastly, the Rebbuhl Lieux-dit is a plot of 1.4 ha on a granite plateau. Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois country with a target at white blends, notably Crémant.
The Kleinknecht's farm just over 9 hectares, insisting on manual work and some tilling by horse rather than machine. The intention is to produce the best fruit, meticulous attention to detail and love for the craft make this possible. The art in winemaking is supporting the transformation of juice to wine and work in the cellar is one of maintaining whats already present.
The wines of Domaine Kleinknecht capture the energy of place, a balance of nuance aromatically and a textural force.