Claude Weinzorn is the man who placed the company Domaine de l'Oriel (Gérard Weinzorn) in the top layer among the producers who are most appreciated among local connoisseurs of Alsace wines. The reason is simple: the wines from Domaine de l'Oriel are consistently perfectly clean with fresh fruitiness, as the same time as they fully express the characteristics of the terroir.
Domaine de l'Oriel covers approximately 9 ha. The domaine largely builds its’ reputation on parcels at three Grands Crus located in three different villages: Sommerberg (hard granite in Niedermorschwihr), Brand (easily weathered granite with with biotite in Turckheim) and Florimont (clayey marl in Ingersheim). Of these, it is obvious that Claude Weinzorn has a soft spot for Sommerberg.
Grand Cru Sommerberg is exceptionally steep and difficult to work, and it requires three times more working hours than normal in Alsace. The land has only o thin soil cover, and the dramatic slopes on the hard granite are treacherous and dangerous. According to Claude, who has had four serious accidents, it is more dangerous to be vigneron on Sommerberg than to drive a Formula 1 racer!
For decades, Claude Weinzorn has worked with ecologically oriented farming. Therefore, he has very low yields, below 50 hl/ha on average. During the autumn the vines of Weinzorn yellow first of all on the slopes. It is a proof that the vines go into winter rest early, a consequence of the fact that the nutrient availability is kept low at the expense of yield.
At Domaine de l'Oriel, all is about quality. Even the simplest Pinot Blanc and the very successful blend l’Oriel are extremely well made. But wines from Claude Weinzorn are never semi-sweet, fruit-driven monster wines. Instead, they are tight, sweet, precise and sophisticated little gems that are charmers as young but developed enormously over time. Therefore the three Grands Crus are sold after some years of maturation when the dense minerality of the wines has begun to show.
Latest visit: 2009.