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A Family Story

Located in Bergheim next to Ribeauvillé, in the heart of the Grand Cru area, the Marcel Deiss estate was founded in 1947. The Deiss family is a long line of winegrowers, blacksmiths and bell founders who settled in Alsace after the Thirty Years War and the attachment of the Province to France. Currently managed by Mathieu Deiss with the help of his father Jean-Michel, the estate has fought for a more qualitative production, based on the terroir rather than on cloned grape varieties, the inclination to Biodynamics, very low yields, agroforestry and Biodynamics.

Who are they?

The Domaine Marcel Deiss chose more than 40 years ago to devote its efforts to the emergence of a viticulture of Lieu in Alsace when the grape variety was perceived at that time as an absolute modernity. Why did we make this choice against the tide? And what is a "Haut-lieu" wine-growing that is also called "Terroir"? It is a profoundly French concept, as subtle as our philosophy and our language are. A multifactorial concept, very complex, made of fine interactions between the place itself, in its physical and metaphysical characteristics; the winegrower's practices, his dreams and fantasies, his personality.

It is by essence an object in movement, a work in progress never finished, always reinvented but yet totally functional. Pregnant for the one who plants the vine, the one who leads it, unavoidable for the one who makes wine, central for the one who tastes it. The terroir winegrower adapts his approach to the natural characteristics of the place (geology, pedagogy, climatology, sunshine, water reserves, etc...). He places the vine by drastic choices of planting density, short pruning and management during the vintage in the impossibility of expressing its vine vigour, its propensity to produce too much until it is exhausted. This Malthusian posture, which stems from common sense and medieval Cistercian rule, was profoundly misunderstood by modern agronomy and many of our contemporaries.

For "industrial" agronomy, it was central to bring to the plants everything they lacked to oblige them to produce in abundance, considering the soil as a simple support and the harvest as a quantitative simulacrum. Thus, little by little, wheat gave flour that could not be breaded! This is how, in Vin le Terroir, the idea that it is by overcoming the constraints that the plant reaches and gives the best, has gradually disappeared, under the plethoric yields of young vines that are hyper-competitive but already too old to really go deep. You only need to have ploughed once a vine has been weeded since it was planted to understand this. It is also in this way that the language of wine has been invaded by the words of the grape variety, aromatic terms speaking of carbonated hyperboles; without even a word for the structure, length, thickness, mouthfeel of the body of the wine: in fact its vital energy.

It is this whole system of false performance, which we gave up forty years ago to dream only of deep old vines, radiant and nourishing grapes, wines that take a long time to make, where the nose only prepares and puts the mouth into perspective, that gives meaning to the moment of tasting, a rare moment of energy exchange that makes the memory. This is our dream of the Terroir! It is the journey of a lifetime, probably not the easiest road for success, easy money, media recognition but rather the posture of the craftsman, proud and sometimes shady in front of his work. Having as only ambition, but it is immense, to maintain every day this simple layer of complexity and humanity that we call civilization.

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The Reserve Cellars. ABN 89621364994 Liquor License 196883. The Reserve Cellar supports the responsible service of alcohol. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. WARNING: Under the Liquor Act 1992, it is an offence to supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $6,000). for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $500).

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