Louis Sipp is one of the very, very few family domaines in Alsace that manages to combine relatively large scale production with a wide range of premium wines from many named Grand Crus and Lieux-dits. The firm was created during World War I, Thereafter, it step by step, the most recent beeing when Etienne Sipp came in charge in 1996. With his wife Martine, Etienne Sipp, who holds a PhD in Chemistry/Material Science, exploits 35 ha of owned vineyards and 5 ha on lease. Some 80% of the land is within the commune of Ribeuvillé.
All wines of Louis Sipp taste good, or rather very good. In fact, they are all excellent! Not viticulture, nor winemaking is taken to the extreme. Therefore, one hallmark of the wines of Louis Sipp is that they posess true Alsace character.
Somewhat simplified, each wine gets it's character from four factors; the grape variety, the terroir, the vintage and the domaine. While others my state that the terroir means everything or that a vine can be decoupled from the influence of the vintage, the wines of Louis Sipp express the variability created by this factors in an admireable way. Thus, the grape is never allowed to overshadow the terroir, nor is the characteristics of the vintage subdued by harsh winemaking practices.
Over the last years, Louis Sipp has transformed to Agricultue Biologique. As a result, the terroirs are even more clearly expressed. Try Rieslings from Hagel, Steinacker, Kirchberg and Osterberg and you will understand!
Of the 'noble' grapes, 40% is Gewurztraminer, followed by 30% Riesling. However, the 4 hectares of Grand Cru territory also give birth to some top-class Pinot Blanc.
Louis Sipp is almost unique in Alsace as the house always offers several vintages of wines such as Riesling Grand Cru Kirchberg and Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Osterberg. Thus, one may taste and purchase half a dozen vintages, all offered at roughly the same price. Currently, Louis Sipp offers Vendange Tardives going back to 1994! Thereby, new costumers realize that the wines of Louis Sipp requires cellaring to reveal their full potential.
You will find Louis Sipp as soon as you start your walk along the busy Grand Rue of Ribeauvillé. You can not, will not, nor should not miss this domaine, dedicated to quality.
Latest visit: 2012.