There are few producers that make such impressions as the young, enthusiastic, innovative, small-scale entrepreneurs who one comes across by chance.
Jean-Luc Schaeringer became a wine producer far too early. When his uncle Paul Wymann suddenly passed away in 1996 young Jean-Luc was the only possible successor. He left his university studies in order to learn more about winemaking. Today he manages, more or less alone, 7.2 ha of excellent land with an annual production of some 30 000 bottles. To help him, is his uncle Jean-Paul who, after having had a small restaurant in Paris for 30 years, returned to manage the simple tasting room and sales. Xavier Wymann is named after the firm's founder, Paul Wymanns grandfather.
Ribeauvillé has, in addition to its three Grands Crus, several excellent Lieux-dits. Jean-Luc Schaeringer has land on Steinacker (stony alluvial deposits for Riesling), Trottacker (brown, clayey marl with pebbles for very ripe Pinot Gris), Haguenau (calcareous marl with thin topsoil facing east) and Weinbaum from which Wymann, Louis Sipp and others make Pinot Blanc. However, the new jewel is the Grand Cru Schlossberg, located 10 km south in Kientzheim.
Like the lion's share of the new generation of producers Jean-Luc Schaeringer works ecologically oriented; production is certified under both the Agriculture biologique (AB) and TYFLO. An important principle is to build a natural flora in the vineyards which in turn can accommodate a natural fauna. This reduces the risk of insect infestation and chemical insecticides have been phased out completely. The natural vegetation also prevents erosion and rot, keeps yields low and thus the quality up.
The range of wines is small, only nine products appear on the list. But more important is that each wine is made with great care. One can hope that more may learn to know Jean-Luc Schaeringer and Maison Xavier Wymann.
First visit: 2009
Lst visit: 2011: The wines just get better ad better!