The Wine: Christian Binner Amour Schwihr 2019
The wine is made from a blend of Riesling and Pinot Gris, with some Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Auxerrois. These varieties are meticulously cultivated in organic and biodynamic vineyards around Ammerschwihr, grown on predominantly loess soil. The grapes are hand-harvested and de-stemmed, then gently pressed. The fermentation process takes place in large Alsatian oak vats, known as foudres. True to natural wine principles, this blend is created with zero added sulfur and is both unfined and unfiltered. The wine shows notes of exotic fruit and spices, making it an exceptional choice for food pairing.
The Producer: Christian Binner
The Binner family, established in the village of Ammerschwihr since 1770, initially engaged in polyculture, later transitioning to full-fledged wine-growing post-World War II. The family has a long-standing tradition of organic farming, a practice preceding official certifications. In the 1950s, despite the agricultural shift towards mechanization and chemical fertilizers, the Binners, led by the patriarch of the family, remained committed to traditional farming methods. They continued with labor-intensive handwork, using manure and natural treatments in the vineyards. This adherence to organic practices has resulted in the preservation of vines dating back to the 1930s, planted by the family's forefathers, which have never been exposed to chemicals.
This philosophy extended beyond vineyard management to their cellar practices as well. Under the guidance of Joseph Binner, and influenced by Marcel Lapierre, legendary Beaujolais grower and a trailblazer in the natural wine movement, the family began crafting wines without added sulfur as early as the 1990s. This approach has solidified the Binner family's reputation as respected figures in the natural wine community, maintaining a legacy of organic and natural wine production through generations.
The Region: Alsace