Turckheim is an elongated village, whose walls stretch below the mighty slope above the village, known as Grand Cru Brand. Intra muros
, two long streets join the ancient south-western and the north-eastern city gate (Porte du Brand), streets that are linked by narrow, sleepy alleys. During a visit one becomes surprised to find that Turckheim is so quiet, as long as one stays away from the busy touristic area close to the square at the southern gate which serves as the city centre.
While Turckheim is one of the most significant wine villages in Alsace, there are surprisingly few producers, actually only three, inside the city walls. A few more have their premises outside the historic city centre, but the main reason is that the co-operative is very dominant. New producers occur sometimes, but after a few years, they return to the security of the co-operative.
The pride of the village is - rightly - Grand Cru Brand, a hot and dry amphitheater guarded by a dragon that bursts out flames through his (her?) nostrils. In all cases, that is according to legend. The original part of the Brand rests on black-white granite, pure quartz mixed with biotite. Brand gives wines that are is floral rather than fruity, and the well-drained soil ensures good wines especially in average years. In addition to Brand, one should look for wines from the lieux-dits Heimburg, Steinweg and Herrenweg.
Turckheim is a very good base for a holiday in Alsace. The supply of rooms and apartments is large, and the public communications as good as anywhere; the local train between Colmar and the Munster valley stops in Turckheim and several other villages. By bike one reaches Eguisheim in the south and in Bennwihr in the north in 30 minutes, while a ride to Munster and back takes a good hour.
Producers to visit
Zind-Humbrecht, 4 route de Colmar, +33 (0) 389 27 02 05
A legendary producer of wines that are among the very best in the world. The plant is hyper-modern and the whole production chain, from planting to bottling, is in the international forefront in all possible respects. Wine quality is unlikely high. Sales in place, but for more extensive visits required to make contact in good time.
Armand Hurst, 8 rue de la Chapelle +33 (0) 389 27 40 22
A wide range of excellent, dry wines to moderate prices and pleasant reception. Located in the outskirts Turckheim on a diversion of the route de Colmar.
Cave Vinicole the Turckheim, 16 rue des Tuileres, +33 (0) 389 30 23 60
With an annual production of 3.5 million, CV Turckheim is the third largest co-operatives (with Wolfberger and Bestheim) and one of the top three (along with Ribeauvillé and Hunawihr). Look for the wines from the Grands Crus Brand, Hengst, Sommerberg, Wineck-Schlossberg and the rare Ollwiller. Open to 18 pm also on Sundays and public holidays.
Emile Herzog, 28 rue Florimont, +33 (0) 389 27 08 79
A wonderful small business where Mme A Herzog tenderly handles only 1.4 ha, where the best land is on Brand, Herrenweg and Langgass. Hard pruning, organic farming and use of horses instead of tractors provide excellent grapes that are converted into very high quality wines in minimal cellar of Herzog.
Marcel Hurst, 21 rue du Conseil, +33 (0) 389 27 36 26
Marcel Hurst is a young and discreet producer who is the largest owner of Grand Cru Brand, where he has 6 ha out of a total of 10 ha for the estate. Hurst sells some of his grapes to the CV Turckheim in order to have time to lead Turckheim voluntary fire brigade, les Pompiers
. Make very good Pinot Noir.
François Baur, 3 Grand Rue, +33 (0) 389 27
Major producer with an organic focus and land on Herrenweg, Langehald and Grand Cru Brand. Offers hotel rooms and apartments under the name Hôtel Berceau du Vigneron.