Alsace Alsace Alsace! It seems recently that whenever any of us research or write about this region and the vignerons within it, time becomes a factor to consider. For two centuries the Bohn family have been pruning, planting and picking in the hills of Reichsfeld, a village in the Bas-Rhin region of north east France. It’s confounding for me, a city dwelling greedy wine consumer who more often than not needs to quench thirst from as many different winemakers as possible as matter of experience, that anyone can remain in the same secluded village for most of their life. My understanding though is that craft needs space and time. Father and son Bernard and Arthur Bohn have both.
A long family lineage dedicated to the vine means they’ve now honed their practice of sustainability, aim to preserve flora and fauna, farm organically and have deep held beliefs that biodiversity and conservation is inherent to what they do as winemakers. So much so they choose to ‘flatten’ rather plow their 9 hectares of wild cover crop as a way to safeguard microbial life and soil health deeming the practice a priority.
The opportunity to experiment is also at the heart of the operation, driven by Bernard, pushed further by Arthur. Arthur the young gun in his mid twenties is the reason the domaine has embarked on producing their range of macerated orange and sulfite free wines. Wines with great potential that seem to draw life from their surrounds, they just so happen to be the wines we’re most excited about in store. A promising start for such a young forward thinking winemaker.
Vineyard sites sit predominantly on steep south east facing slopes sheltered by Ungersberg a 900m hill. Soils of pure shale and sandstone which help to impart a deep mineral quality throughout the wines. Yields are kept low and harvest is done by hand with extended ageing in Alsatian casks. In my mind these are spirited wines with an honest edge, without fanfare or hype. Wines we like to drink again and again that are able to do that thing we want most wines to do; transmit geology, fruit and geography to glass.