Ribeauvillé is one of the most important village for wines and for tourism in Alsace. It also hosts a seconday school, and one of the largest producers of mineral water in France, Carola.
Ribeauvillé has a busy shopping street with cosy restaurants, hotels and wine shops. The village has fewer wine producers than towns like Eguisheim, but the cooperative is very large.
The village of Ribeauvillé is situated below an impressive south-facing slope, littered with old castles. The valley leading to Ste Marie-aux-Mines offers the entire sequence of geologies. From west to east we have St:Ulrich (granite and schist), Kirchberg (marl and sandstone), Geisberg (marly limestone), Osterberg (calcareous marl) to Haguenau (marl).
Geisberg is confined by other Grands Crus. It is only 8.53 ha, homogeneous and − fantastic! There are only five producers on Geisberg; Trimbach, Kientzler, Faller and from recently the Couvent de Ribeauvillé . A 6th winegrower, J F Baldenbeck owns vines but sells the grapes.
The hallmark of Ribeaville wines is the minerality. In fact, while most Grand Cru Rieslings have 1.5 g solids/liter, Ribeauvillé wines often reach 2.5 g/liter.
Producers to visit
Maison Trimbach, 15, route de Bergheim +33 (0)389 73 60 30
A first class company making two of the Worlds best whie wines, the Clos St: Hune (Rosacker) and Cuvée Frédéric Emile (Geisberg and Osterberg). The basic Réserve cuvées of Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer are excellent.
André Kientzler, 50 route de Bergheim, +33 (0)389 73 67 10
Kientzler is among the best growers in Alsace, offering classic wines from great terroirs. Look for Riesling Geisberg, and two wines from Kirchberg, a Muscat Grand Cru and the Auxerrois "K".
Louis Sipp, 5 Grand Rue, +33 (0)389 73 60 01
This house offers a classic style, and the flagship Kirschberg needs 5-7 years to open up. Then it offers a marked petroleum nose that you either love or do not. Tight Haguenau and supple Steinacker. A very good house with correct prices.
Jean Sipp, 60 rue de la Fraternité, +33 (0)389 73 60 02
Jean Sipp offers very many wines where Grand Cru Kirchberg stands out. Clos Ribeaupierre can excel. Good wines that do not require very much patience but still age very well.
Joggerst et Fils, 19 Grand rue, +33 (0)389 73 65 45
Joggerst makes focused wines with Rieslings that possess the minerality typical of Ribeauvillé . The Grand Cru Osterberg is very, very good and a steal. Terroirs for supple Pinot Gris are located in Rodern.
Cave Vinicole de Ribeauvillé - Martin Zahn, 2 route de Colmar+33 (0)389 73 61 80
CV Ribeauvillé is one of large and most respected coops in Alsace. Situated in the centre, it offers good standard but the small growers offer much more value for money.