Alsace villages to visit: Mittelbergheim, Bas-Rhin



Alsace Map

3 km south of Barr.
Vineyard area
150 ha
Grand cru
Forst, Hagel, Oberscheuer, Rotland, Stein
Hotell Kastelberg is luxurious and reasonably priced.
Link to more information
Alsace-route-des-vins  Andlau

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.

Producers to visit

André Kleinknecht, 45 rue Principale, +33 (0)388 08 95 83
Small family estate with Riesling and Gewurztraminer from Kirschberg de Barr, and Pinot Gris and Sylvaner from Zotzenberg.
Domaine Rietsch, 32 rue Principale, +33 (0)388 08 00 64
Ecological viticulture (Tyflo member) with focused wines from 11 ha, including Grands Crus Zotzenberg and Wiebelsberg and lieux-dits Rippelholtz, Brandluft, Stein and Hardt. Riesling "Quarant Carats" from Stein is very good. The estate, established in the 1970´s is managed by Jean-Pierre Ritsch.
Domaine André Rohrer, 22 rue des Vosges, +33 (0)388 08 97 23
Strict, ecological grower with 8 ha in Eichshoffen, Mittelbergheim and Barr. In Mittelbergheim, the holdings include Zotzenberg, Stein, Forst and Oberscheur. Everything is good, but look for the Sylvaner Vielle Vignes.
Domaine André Rieffel, 11 rue Principale, +33 (0)388 08 95 48
Run by Lucas Rieffel since 1996 with 9.5 ha including Zotzenberg and Wiebelsberg. As much as 35% is Riesling, and the ambition is to be fully biodynamic. Pinot Gris from Lieu-dit Hagel is very good, and the Auxerrois comes from vines 80 years of age.