Born in Strasbourg in 1948, Marc Kreydenweiss is heir to a family of viticulturists who have lived in Alsace for 3 centuries. He has owned and managed the Domaine since 1971. In 1984, he made the decision to exclusively produce extremely high-quality wine based on the expression of the terroir. As a result, the wines have preserved the delicacy on which their reputation was established but now contain increased concentration, complexity, and a taste that lingers longer on the palate. In 1989, these same requirements led Marc to introduce biodynamic cultivation at the Domaine. Using homeopathic treatments and practices, the soil remains alive and well-balanced, yielding healthy and high-quality grapes. In 1995, 1.5 hectares of the famous Val d’Eleon were purchased and cleared, and Riesling-the ideal varietal for grey schist-and Pinot Gris were planted.
Marc Kreydenweiss transmitted his passion of the wine, terroirs and biodynamical to his children. Antoine Kreydenweiss took over the management of the vineyard in 2007 who is accompanied by his wife Charlotte, their daughters Zoe, Lilou and Leonie, the whole team and his horse. Together they show the same passion : create wines with personality and reveal soul of each terroir. The winemaking is based on natural methods, with the respect of the equilibrium of each wine.
Marc Kreydenweiss is a firm believer in biodynamic principals, and has applied these to every aspect of the vineyard and wine making process. In his opinion, biodynamics is the living exchange between the biology of the soil and the entire root system of vine that tangibly expresses the “terroir” of the grapes. Biodynamics uses a certain number of vegetable, animal, and mineral preparations for different purposes and at specific times within the annual evolution of the organisms being treated.
For the last 12 years the estate has been run on biodynamic lines: 1991 was the first vintage that was entirely biodynamic (estates have to go through a conversion process that takes some years), and it wasn't until the 1995 vintage that the new style encouraged by this technique became apparent in the wines. Marc insists that his conversion to biodynamics wasn't a case of jumping on the bandwagon. It was a lifestyle decision; the adoption of a different philosophy that he feels is closer to nature. Marc insisted that biodynamic viticulture has caused the acid balance in the grapes to change, causing the tartaric acid to go up and the malic acid down. Apparently, if you take a cross-section of the root structure of a biodynamic vine, the roots go deeper than those of conventionally grown vines, and they go down much straighter. He also made it clear that biodynamics is much more than just supercharged organic agriculture, and that the philosophical aspects are very important.
Marc Kreydenweiss uses the following biodynamic techniques to care for his vines:
-Severe pruning to control yield; after debudding, all extra shoots are removed from the vine trunk to allow the sunlight access to the grapes and to improve aeration
-The vines are thinned out after flowering to ensure a correct distribution of the bunches on the vine
-Manual harvest and sorting, followed by a second sorting before destalking
The Alsace Terroir
The geology in Alsace is extremely complicated, with rock formations dating back to the Paleozoic Era (schist), the Mesozoic Era (sandstone) and even the Precambrian Era (Ville schist). As a result of the various rising springs, faults, and ice ages, a range of extremely different terroirs are found. In Andlau, a single trach separates the black and hard schist of Kastelberg from the pink and delicate sandstone of Wiebelsberg. However, a common point is the high mineral content-without limestone-of the underlying soil. The biodynamic approach, especially when implemented over time, enables vines to take advantage of the soil, as their roots reach into the depths of the rock.
Rhone Valley Estate History
In 1999, the Kreydenweiss family purchased the Perrieres estate in Manduel which was the ideal terroir and climate to produce red wines and develop the grape varietals of the Midi. In addition, owner Marc Kreydenweiss responded to this location in the Rhone Valley because it is a sacred area that links major religious centers, including the Arles pilgrimage route, and as a practitioner of biodynamics, he took advantage of the exceptional vibrations of the location. The winemakers were especially interested in cultivating an old varietal-Carignan, on the verge of disappearing-as well as Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre.