The Saga of Sylvaner Zotzenberg
The Sylvaner grape variety has always been very present on the Zotzenberg hill. The nature of the soil, marl and limestone, is ideal for this variety.
With a southern exposition and yields lower than the Alsace A.O.C. norm, Sylvaner, less liked in Alsace, takes a different dimension in this terroir.
Instead of a wine reputed to be light and nicknamed “thirsty wine”, at Zotzenberg, we get a fruity wine with a much fuller body and a fuller palate.
From the beginning of the 20th century, this wine was the reference for Sylvaner in most of the best restaurants in Strasbourg.
Moreover, Sylvaner Zotzenberg is a wine that can be kept for a long time, as we noticed during a “vertical” tasting in 2001, which gathered all the vintages of Sylvaner Zotzenberg from 1971 to 2000.
Despite its long-established reputation, in 1993 regulations imposed that we no longer use the name Zotzenberg in association with the Sylvaner grape. Indeed, the Alsace Grand Cru appellation was reserved for the Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer varieties.
After long negotiations with the professional authorities, the Winemakers Association of Mittelbergheim obtained the exception: the Alsace Grand Cru Zotzenberg appellation for Sylvaner (decree of 25 March 2005).