Domaine Binner

The Binner estate was established in 1770, the family has holdings in two of the most valuable growing sites in Alsace; around the Kaefferkopf Grand Cru and plots in Ammerschwihr. The Binner family owns nine hectares and only six of those hectares are under vine.

The vines average age is 35-years, where 40% of the vines over 60 years old, and with many rows nearing a 100 years of age. Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Grand Cru Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Auxerrois and Muscat make up the varieties utilized by this estimable domaine.

The steep vineyard sites are surrounded by nature, and have been chemical free for nearly thirty-five. The grapes are hand harvested very late for Alsace, early to mid-October, yielding fully ripened fruit that lends to wines that offer a complexity of aromatics and flavors.

In 2012, Christian put the finishing touches on a brand new winery space, with a roof that is covered in soil, sloping up from the Earth and using the ground as a natural form of temperature control. Christian says this has improved the quality of the winemaking greatly, adding stability and resilience to the finished wines. Christian crafts almost every single wine he makes without the use of sulfur, which is particularly striking considering the fact that he makes mostly white wines, which is much harder to do without sulfur. He achieves amazing results, thanks to his years of work in biodynamics and healthy soil in the vines, and long elevage times, many of which take place in traditional very large Alsatian foudres.

www.alsace-binner.com

Check out Levi Dalton’s interview with Christian on episode 165 of the I’ll Drink to that Podcast!

Certification: Certified Organic (Ecocert) Biodynamic Practices.

Press: Organic Wine Journal Video on Domaine Binner, Saveurs

 


Riesling Champs des Alouettes (formerly know as Riesling Katzenthal): — Back to the top

Soil: Steep soils—light granite and heavy slit on granite

Varieties: Riesling

Vinification Method: All grapes are hand-harvested in October and undergo a long slow press. The juice sees low temperature fermentation and the wine is aged in 100-year-old barrels on fine lees for 11 months. No chemical yeast is added to the wine, and the wine is bottled without filtration. All wines are held at the vineyard until Christian Binner decides that they are ready for release.


Pinot Noir— Back to the top

Soil: Loess (gravelly loan)

Vinification: This wine is whole cluster fermented in large foudre, using only indigenous yeast. It spends about 11 months in elevage in foudre and is racked once in spring. Sulfur is never added to this wine and it is unfiltered.


Pinot Noir Beatrice— Back to the top

This wine is named for Christian’s sister Beatrice.

Soil: limestone, sand, clay, loess, gypsum, and schist

Age of Vines: 55 years old

Yield: 35 hl/ha

Vinification notes: This wine is whole cluster fermented in large foudre, using only indigenous yeast. It spends about 11 months in elevage in foudre and is racked once in spring. Sulfur is never added to this wine and it is unfiltered.


Hinterberg les Pinots— Back to the top

The Hinterberg Vineyard is in the Katzenthal Valley with very sharp angled hills facing South. It is situated in the same geologic formation as the Grand Cru Schlossberg vineyard.

Varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auexerrois, Pinot Beurrot

Yield: 35 hl/ha

Vinification notes: This wine is a blend of red and white grapes left on the skins for a short time, hence the red grapes contribute a rosé element and the white grapes contribute a macerated element, thus this falls under the new category we (thanks to Christian Tschida) like to call pink maceration. Sulfur is never added to this wine and it is unfiltered.


Cotes d’Amourschwihr— Back to the top

Varieties: Field blend of Riesling and Pinot Gris mainly with a bit of Gewurztraminer, Muscat and Auxerrois.

Soil: Loess (gravelly loan)

Vinification: Field blended grapes are hand harvested, de-stemmed and pressed to ferment in large Alsatian foudre. Zero suflur added, unfined, unfiltered.


Sylvaner— Back to the top

Soil: Loess and limestone

Vinification Method:

All grapes are hand-harvested in October and undergo a long slow press. The juice sees low-temperature fermentation and the wine is aged in 100-year-old barrels on fine lees for 11 months. No chemical yeast is added to the wine, and the wine is bottled without filtration. All wines are held at the vineyard until Christian Binner decides that they are ready for release.


Si Rose— Back to the top

This cuvée was originally inspired by Severine Peru formerly of Ten Bells in New York City and was an exclusive wine sold only there, but now is available for everyone to enjoy (although in very small quantities). The name is a macabre play on words – the French pronunciation of Si Rose is the same as cirrhosis, hence the liver on the label.

Varieties: Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris

Vinification Method: The pinot gris and Gewurztraminer are macerated on the skins. The Gewurztraminer lends powerful aromas and the pinot gris adds a touch of pink color to this wine, but the final product is definitely an orange wine. 


Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg— Back to the top

Schlossberg, the Grand Cru vineyard where this wine is born, is a very solar, full-south site, whose warm days are contrasted by nights cooled by winds from the nearby Vosges mountain range – a combination that’s perfect for wine with flamboyant aromas yet very fresh. Its poor, well-aerated soil gifts the wines with a compelling finesse, although they might take some time to develop, both in the cellar and in the glass – after all, this is a grand cru, meant to last!

Grapes: Riesling

Vineyard: Schlossberg, majestic terraced slope with full south exposure. Almost half of the vines are 60 years old, the rest is about 40yo. Poor sandy-granitic soil.

Making of: The grapes are hand-harvested and gently pressed. The alcoholic and malolactic fermentations happen spontaneously over many months with natural yeasts in old oak barrels. Aged 11 months on the lees in the same vessels, bottled unfined and unfiltered, zero sulfur added.

Personality: lush exotic & candied fruit mingled with sweet spices and citrusy notes. Wonderful structure and acidic backbone that asks for another sip. Vibrant, salty, mineral, persistent: you name it. Best served after some time in carafe, in a big enough glass.