Wettolsheim is old viticultural village, with a reputation that goes back to the 1st century. The proof can be seen out in the vines just above the village, where ruins from Roman times tell us that Wettolsheim was a part of a rich and strategically important region. Today, Wettolsheim is rather a sleepy village, modern but charming without being pictoresque.
Most Alsace villages offer wines of a specific, fingerprint style. With respect to Wettolsheim, however, the picture is more complex since the producers have vines on land with very varying character. For example, the three Grand Crus Steingrubler (entirely within the village), Pfersigberg (mostly in Eguisheim), samt Hengst (belonging to Wintzenheim) are all very different. Moreover, Steingrubler gives Riesling from the sandy upper half, while the clayey, colder lower part is known for fat Pinot Gris and spicy Gewurztraminer.
One peculiar element in Wettolsheim is the copy of the grotto of Lourdes. This church-like, obscure creation was built by Bishop Schoepfer on the spot where the home of his parents once stood. The family namn Schoepfer is, by the way, common in Wettolsheim just as Mann and Buecher.
Wettolsheim you choose to visit because of its' wines. Here you will find a handful of very skilful producers, two hotels, five restaurants with ambitions and 10 rooms-to-rent, all waiting for you!
Producers to visit
Albert Mann, 13 rue du Château, +33 (0)389 80 62 00
One of the great names in Alsace with wines from the great vineyards Furstentum, Hengst and Steingrubler, among others. Has a large portion of its' land in Kientzheim. The wines tend to lean to the full-bodied side, and are always full of class and finess.
Barmes-Buecher, 30 rue Ste-Gertrude, +33 (0)389 80 62 92
Despite that Geneviève and François Barmes established their domaine as late as in 1995, they now have a splendid reputation, building their success on biodynamic principles, low yield and a great respect for each terroir. Makes Riesling from Herrenweg (Turckheim), Leimenthal, Hengst and Steingrubler. Try their great Sylvaner and the Pinot Blanc Rosenberg. Master of crémant.
Wunch & Mann, 2 rue des Clefs, +33 (0)389 22 91 25.
Very nice producer that always offers several vintages of his Grands Crus at the tasting room. Makes quite rich Steingrubler, Pfersigberg och Hengst. The sweet VT and SGN are sold under the 'Collection Joseph Mann'. Winemaker Jean-Louis Mann got his training in Avize in Champagne, so sparkling wines are always in focus here!
François et Philippe Ehrhart,
6 rue Saint-Rémy, +33 (0)389 80 60 57.
This firm, also known as Domaine Saint-Rémy, was formed in 1991. Via a series of mergers the holding now amounts to 21 hactares of vines on superior terroirs; in addition to Steingrubler and Hengst, Ehrhart offers Brand (Turckheim), Goldert (Geuberschwihr) as well as Schlossberg (Kienztheim/Kaysersberg). The Pinot Auxerrois from Val Saint Grégoire offers great style and value for money.
Jean-Louis Schoepfer, 35 rue Herzog, +33(0)389 80 71 29.
A wild card where you can find first class Muscat and Riesling Hengst at no money at all.