logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel
Southwest USA


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Wine Site

BellaOnline's Wine Editor

g

Robert Blanck Winery - Alsace




Robert Blanck’s family has always farmed the slopes of the Vosges Mountains near the town of Obernai in Alsace, France. In 1732 they started selling wine from their vineyards. One of the oak casks they used then is still in the cellars.

Current owner and winemaker Robert took over from his father Eugene in 1996 to run the business with his wife Brigitte and now daughter Valerie is being trained to take over in due course, which will be a break from a 300 year father-to-son tradition.

You can see Germany from here, across the Rhine and during the Second World War the Blanck’s ancestral house built in 1655 was destroyed by allied bombing. The replacement concrete wine cellar built in the 1950’s is decorated by an arch they salvaged and lined with old barrels that survived. A family custom was that a small barrel was made on the birth of a son and filled with wine for him to open on manhood, and the cellar holds many generations of these blackened and carved kegs.

Robert Blanck farms some 20 hectares (49.5 acres) of vineyards and makes about 80,000 bottles annually. All his wine is aged in wood. “We only make what we grow”, he says. “We are independent winegrowers, and we sell only to private clients, restaurants — and visitors like you.”

We were about forty people on a Viking River Cruise down the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam who’d booked an optional tour to visit Obernai and a winery. I wondered how many times Robert had delivered his talk and how much the ban on carrying liquids in hand baggage had impacted on sales to visitors like us. I bought several bottles to drink on board with dinner, the ship charges no corkage.

The group were mostly from the United States who asked many questions about the use of sulphur, a subject that seemed to be of great concern to them. Robert Blanck is a member of Tyflo, a group dedicated to sustainable viticulture and who operate to standards certified by IOBC (International Organisation for Biological and Integrated Control). Robert uses minimal sulphur to sterilise wooden casks and wine.

We tasted four wines.

2010 Riesling (7 Eur) had been recently bottled after aging for 18 months in wood. It was bone dry with just 1 gL residual sugar, crisp and light with a tangy finish and was lacking the oily and petrol tones often found in this variety which I dislike.

2009 Dorenberg Vielle Vignes Gewurztraminer (10.40 Eur). Slightly oily texture with a litchees and rose petal flavours. This comes of 80 year vines in his Dorenberg vineyard. Sweet at 14gL RS Robert recommended serving it at 10C (50F)and sipping with cheese. Gewurztraminer, spelled in Alsace without accents over the ‘u’, is Roberts most planted variety with 30% of his vineyards.
Cremant d’Alsace. (8 Eur) In France of course only the region of Champagne can use that name and so Cremant is used by other regions for sparkling wines made by the traditional method. I was surprised to learn that a quarter of all Alsace wine production is Cremant. Robert varies the grapes used for the blends, but Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris play a large part along with, Pinot Blanc and Auxerois. The wine was delightfully creamy with a soft foam. We asked is Robert hand riddled (turned) the bottles and he shrugged. “I did so for eight years and it is just so much hard work for one man,” he said. So he bought a gyro-pallet which does the job automatically.

Pinot Noir ‘Rouge d’Ottrott Vielle Vignes’ 2009 (9 Eur) comes from old vines (vielle vignes) grown around the village of Ottrott. This was a really enjoyable wine with good body and depth of fruit and a lingering finish.
Unless you visit Alsace you are unlikely to encounter the wines of Robert Blanck but I enjoyed meeting an artisan grower and winemaker. This French farmer learned English to tell visitors about his family and wines. His eyes glint with delight and he cracks jokes as he proudly shows us over his family winery with the evidence in front of his eyes that he is just the latest link of winemakers in a line stretching back almost 300 years, and hopefully far ahead.

www.blanck-obernai.com
Vins d’Alsace Robert Banck
167 route d’Ottrott
67210 Obernai
Alsace, France

Ask questions and talk about wine on our forum.




Peter F May is the author of Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape: Odd Wines from Around the World which features more than 100 wine labels and the stories behind them, and PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa’s Own Wine which tells the story behind the Pinotage wine and grape, also available for the Kindle and Apple iPad.




Disclosure: Peter F May visited Alsace and the winery at his own expense and paid for all travel,tastings and wines.


Photobucket

Location of the Robert Blanck winery





Robert Blanck, Owner Winemaker




Photobucket>

The winery cellar, note at the far end is the ancient arch rescued from the ruins of the family house.



Photobucket

Detail from the arch, the date above is 1653





Photobucket

Barrel cellar, the small ones on top were especially made for his ancestors on their birth and filled with wine for them to later enjoy.



Add Robert+Blanck+Winery+%2D+Alsace to Twitter Add Robert+Blanck+Winery+%2D+Alsace to Facebook Add Robert+Blanck+Winery+%2D+Alsace to MySpace Add Robert+Blanck+Winery+%2D+Alsace to Del.icio.us Digg Robert+Blanck+Winery+%2D+Alsace Add Robert+Blanck+Winery+%2D+Alsace to Yahoo My Web Add Robert+Blanck+Winery+%2D+Alsace to Google Bookmarks Add Robert+Blanck+Winery+%2D+Alsace to Stumbleupon Add Robert+Blanck+Winery+%2D+Alsace to Reddit




Visiting Alsace
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Wine Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Peter F May. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Peter F May. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Peter F May for details.

g


g features
Chateau des Charmes, Niagara, Canada

World Wine and Food Tour - Burgundy

World Wine & Food Tour - France

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor