Julien Schaal has spent the majority of his winemaking career hopping between worlds: spending half the year working with ancient Grand Cru vineyards in Alsace, France and the other half of the year in Elgin, South Africa working amongst much younger vines brimming with possibility.
The Alsace wine region has a unique combination of great soils types that forms a real ‘kaleidoscope” of geologies. The array of soil types (pink sandstone, blue schist, limestone, granite, gypsum and volcanic rocks) represented in Julien’s homeland is what has always drawn him to and intrigued him about this region. Couple that with Riesling being the most important white variety for the region and you have the perfect opportunity as a winemaker to prove how the most expressive variety in the world can so dramatically change its character simply dependent on the soil it’s grown in.
Julien passionately embodies the souls of the Grand Cru vineyards he sources his fruit from. All organically farmed and spread across the Alsatian landscape. His Rieslings being the genuine expression of the history of the soil in which they were grown.
At the foot hills of the Vosges mountains, just below the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle in the village of Saint-Hippolyte the winemaking takes place. This is really just the space where Julien becomes the steward of the incredible hand-picked fruit he has acquired from some of the most important Grand Cru vineyards throughout the region. A long gentle pressing of the fruit, never pushing too far yields the best possible juice which will then begin a slow spontaneous fermentation at low temperatures. No sulfur is added until bottling occurs allowing the wines to open up as much as possible until they are ready in the Spring.
- Grand Cru Rosacker Riesling
- Grand Cru Schoenenbourg Riesling