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REGION: Alsace, France
VITICULTURE: Organic & Biodynamic Practices
INFO: While the winemaking history of the Rolly and Gassmann families in Alsace can be traced back to the 17th century, the Domaine was not established until 1967 when these two families were joined by marriage.
The fruit for Rolly Gassmann’s Sylvaner is sourced from a 5.5 hectare vineyard planted on clay, marl and limestone soils, in the commune of Rorschwihr. All 21 different types of limestone known in the world can be found in the soils of this village, and the sub- soil there is similarly diverse. These soils, and the particular climate of the sites, were discovered by the monks who first made wine here over 400 years ago, and today some of their methods are still used; vineyard activity is carried out based on the position of the moon and stars, with grape maturity and picking determined by the ripeness of the pips, as well as the skins. Organic and biodynamic practices are used to manage the vineyards, although the Domaine is not certified.
As the cellar is located 500 metres from the vineyard, the grapes arrived at optimum freshness. Upon arrival, the fruit was immediately pressed by gentle pressing for 6-8 hours. Fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks, using indigenous yeasts, for approximately five months at controlled temperatures of 16-20o C. The wine was then aged on its fine lees for 11 months before bottling, remaining in the cellar until ready for release.
The wine is a vibrant pale yellow, with delicate white flower and nutty aromas. On the palate, rich grapey flavours, bolstered by a touch of residual sugar, are balanced by a taut acidity and saline character. Approachable for drinking now, this wine will also keep for another decade or more.
Practising Organic, VEGAN