Alsace villages to visit: Mittelwihr, Haut-Rhin



Alsace Map

6 km north-west of Colmar.
Vineyard area
172 ha
Grand cru
Bouxreben, Reckholder
Link to more information
Alsace-route-des-vins  Andlau

Mittelwihr was founded in the 3rd century by the Romans, and it belongs to the group of villages that were lost during the battle of the Colmar pocket. When the battle was over, a burned-out tank stood exactly where Edgard Schaller now has its peaceful tasting room.

Today, Mittelwihr has been restored with some Alsace character, even though the private homes appears to work their way into the vineyards, step by step. The traffic on Route-des-Vins that cuts through the village can sometimes be quite heavy. Actually, there is not very much to say about Mittelwihr.

The wines, however, have a lot to say! The pride is Mandelberg, a protected Grand Cru just east of the road. Its geology is Oligocene congelomorate. Hence, the soil is heavy, calcareous and cold but the micro climate is warm. This combination yields firm Rieslings with a marked acidity that need time to develop. Hence, Mandelberg is best during the great vintages, while the edges are a bit to rough in lesser years.

Mittelwihr has no big houses but numerous small producers to discover. Often they have very interesting Gewurztraminers from the Lieux-dits west of the village.

Producers to visit

Edgar Schaller, 1 rue du Chatêaux, +33 (0)389 47 90 28
Patrick Schaller has 10 ha and make some of the most firm and acidic wines in Alsace. Their Riesling has a very spicy, petrolly and citrus aroma that develops well ahead of the palate. The dry, smokey Gewurztraminer from Sporen is simply excellent. Makes a classic cremant, among the best in the region. On lower quality levels the acidity would benefit from more back up from fruit.
Ziegler-Mauler, 2 rue des Merles, +33 (0)389 47 87 26
A very small estate, making perfectly balanced wins from all varieties with good ageing capacity. The Vielles vignes wines are called "Cuvée Philippe". The Grands Crus include a fresh and fruity Riesling Schlossberg, a corsé Riesling Mandelberg and an elegant Gewurztraminer Kaefferkopf. Call in advance, the young couple spend a lot of time in the vines.
Willy Wurtz et Fils, 6 rue du Bouxhof, +33 (0)389 47 93 16.
Solid producer offering Riesling Mandelberg (€7.5 2005) and Gewurztraminer Mandelberg (€10 2005). Nice reception staffed with the older generation.