Cave de Turckheim - A Seasoned Pioneer After 60 Years

Press Release

Cave de Turckheim - A Seasoned Pioneer After 60 Years

Currently celebrating its 60th Anniversary, Alsace’s Cave de Turckheim near Colmar was created when Robert Schwindenhammer,  the forward-thinking then Mayor of Turckheim, gathered together 180 like-minded grape-growers to pool resources and knowledge and form what is now France’s fourth biggest co-operative and largest still wine producer. 

Big really is beautiful, as today Turckheim has access to fruit from 500ha via its 216 grower members and the same pioneering approach is still very much in evidence - the Co-operative’s progressive improvements in the vineyard and winery have led to it becoming the largest producer of organic wines in Alsace, and recognised for its consistent quality.

Gewurztraminer - probably the most renowned of the region’s wines and instantly recognisable thanks to its exceptionally aromatic personality - is a focus for the winery.


Cave de Turckheim AOC Alsace Grand Cru Brand Gewurztraminer  2011                13.5% ABV

RRP £17.99, Virgin Wines

RRP £18.99, D Byrne (Lancs), Camber Wines (Hampshire), The Drinkmonger (Edinburgh), Fenwick’s (Newcastle), ND John (Swansea)

With 25 hectares, Cave de Turckheim is the largest vineyard owner on the Brand Grand Cru - one of the original 51 lieux-dits designated Grand Cru - and one of the driest areas in France:  ‘Brand’ means ‘burnt’ in the Alsatian dialect.

At 380m altitude, and with its south / south-east aspect, this vineyard benefits from remarkably high levels of sunshine producing ripe, rich and exotically-flavoured grapes.  The granitic soils are perfect for Gewurztraminer - they absorb the heat well, and the fact that they are deeper and less rocky than most helps them retain more water than many other Grands Crus, which is key to good ripening.  Permitted yields are 55 hl/l, but in its quest for best concentration and quality, the Co-operative caps yields at 50 hl/h (often closer to 45hl/h) while paying the growers the maximum yield price as an incentive.

Gewurztraminer wines from Brand tend to be full-bodied and powerful, with grandiose aromatics and a weighty, perfumed palate - perfectly exemplified by the Cave de Turckheim Alsace Grand Cru Brand Gewurztraminer 2011.   Head Winemaker for over 25 years, Michel Lihrmann takes great care in the winery, nestled at the foot of the Brand cliff.  Hand harvesting, pneumatic pressing, temperature-controlled fermentation, no fining and minimal filtration all help to preserve the naturally aromatic and fruity character of this wine.  And the early-maturing and drinkable style of this 2011 vintage is attributable to initial cool and wet weather which led into a real Indian summer.

Classic yet delicate notes of rose petal, lychee and warm spice lead into a palate of rich, powerful and complex fruit with a fine structure and balance and an elegant finish.  Delicious with pork and duck dishes and perfectly suited to spicy Asian foods.

The 15,500 hectare mosaic of vineyards in Alsace is host to a huge range of soils (granite, limestone, volcanic, gneiss, sandstone and marl to name but a few) and grape varieties.  This means the region’s wines - renowned the world over for their distinctive aromatics, purity of fruit and food-matching prowess - range from fresh and clean Sylvaners, to smoky Pinot Gris and spicy and floral Gewurztraminers.

Cave de Turckheim & Boutinot

“A strong quality message combined with a gently pioneering spirit,” is how Boutinot’s French Wine Buyer Sally Holloway describes Cave de Turckheim.  The Co-operative was one of the first producers in Alsace to export to the UK after Paul Boutinot discovered its wines in 1980 and felt they had good potential for the UK.  He was absolutely right, as today Cave de Turckheim accounts for an impressive third of all Alsace wine sold in the UK.

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Date of issue:                                    15 February 2016

Further information - emma wellings pr:  t 020 8996 5168  e kristen@ew-pr.co.uk