Unless you look for it, you will never discover one of the most charming villages of Alsace. Hunawihr is hidden among superior vineyards that give Riesling wines with eternal life. Road D1 passes outside of the village. In Hunawihr you will not run into bus loads of tourists, you will find no aggressive wine houses, but you can stroll up and down the dwindling alleys enjoying the genuine buildings, the flowers and the wines and the vintners.
The church is from the 14th century. In Hunawihr, both a catholic "Messe" is held one day of the weekend, while the other day is reserved for the protestantic "culte".
Hunawihr is home for one of the great white wine of the World, the Clos Ste Hune from Trimbach. It comes from a 1.2 ha section on Grand Cru Rosacker, and the exact location is − a secret that I will not share with the reader.
Muhlforst is a large and excellent Lieu-dit well worth looking for. Located between Hunawihr and Ribeauvillé its calcareous marl gives racy, tight wines with flesh and obvious grapefruit, pamplemousse, in the aftertaste.
Producers to visit
Mader, 3 Grand rue, +33 (0)389 73 80 32.
Run by Jean-Luc and Anne Mader since 1981. Very good wines, moderate prices and very nice reception. The Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are both full and dry, ideal on the table. The Rieslings Muhlforst and Rosacker are model wines that require some ageing, and even if the Gewurztraminer Rosacker may be rich, the sweetness is not sticky.
Sipp-Mack, 1 rue des Vosges, +33 (0)389 73 61 88.
Very hospitable and competent producer with nice Sylvaner, and Grands Cru Rosacker and Osterberg (the best to my mind). For some years the style appeared a bit opulent, but Sipp-Mack is now back to the firm character that suits Rosacker best. Has several apartments, perfectly situated.
Cave cooperative Hunawihr, 48 Route de Ribeauvillé, +33 (0)389 73 61 67.
The 3rd best cooperative of France according to Revue de Vins de France. Offers a very good range from Grands Crus Rosacker, Froehn (Zellenberg), Schoenenbourg, Sporen and Osterberg at €8−10 (2007). Very good Lieux-dits Muhlforst and Silberberg (Rorschwihr) at €6−8.
Francois Schwach, 28 Route de Ribeauvillé, +33 (0)389 73 62 15.
Big but unknown estate, making round wines from 25 ha. Offers Grands Crus Rosacker, Osterberg, Schoenenbourg and Kaefferkopf. Has a store in Ribeauvillé. Mme Nathalie speaks perfect English.
Mittnacht Frères, 27 Route de Ribeauvillé, +33 (0)389 73 62 01.
A very serious grower, producer of biodynamic wines since 1999. Everything is good with an impressive depth of flavour. Offers Rosacker, Osterberg, Mandelberg and a Muhlforst with superior minerality.
Mallo, 8 Grand rue, +33 (0)389 73 80 32.
Low-profile grower with soft Rosacker and Mandelberg. To re-discover!