Mittelbergheim is very charming, ranked among the 100 most beautiful villages in France. The alleys are lined by medieval houses and the village stretches out in a sun-drenched slop just south of Barr. Although this village, that counts only 650 inhabitants, may seem sleepy, there are several hotels and restaurants. However, it is the tranquillity that remains as the main impression after a visit to Mittelbergheim.
The pride is Zotzenberg, a Grand Cru of 36 ha. The geology is Jurassic with some marl, and Oligocene conglomerates at the lower parts.
As the only vineyard in Alsace, Zotzenberg was awarded Grand Cru status for Sylvaner from the 2005 harvest. Sylvaner is a very useful variety that gives wines with freshness and body. Unfortunately, it lacks a finger-print varietal character. It has lost almost half of its area over the last decades. Sylvaner is "Good but anonymous", not a winning concept in the 21st century.
Many growers in Mittelbergheim have vines in vineyards in other communes, especially at Wiebelsberg (Andlau) and Kirschberg (Barr). Several growers make Klevener d´Heiligenstein from grapes grown in one of the five communes where the grape is allowed. Klevener d´Heiligenstein is identical to Savagnin Rosé of Jura and gives spicy but not spectacular wines.
There are some large estates in Mittelbergheim, such as Gilg, Haegi and Boeckel. However, it is worth the trouble to seek out the progressive estates run by winemakers born in the 1970&acut;s.