Alsace Grand Cru AOC Vorbourg | One of the Grand Cru AOC sites in the Alsace region of north-eastern France. Vorbourg is located mainly in the commune of Rouffach, with a small part (details below) in the adjoining commune of Westhalten in the Haut-Rhin department.

The name | Vorbourg is a corruption of ‘Vorberg’. Vor translates as ‘for’ or in front of, and ‘bourg’ means town, in this case Rouffach, originally Isenbourg, the castle (of Isenbourg) in Rouffach.

History | When Bishop Heddo of Strasbourg founded the convent of Ettenheim (Ettenheimmünster) in 762, he bequeathed to it the ancestral vines of the Vorbourg of Rouffach. The bishop also left fine Vorbourg vineyards to the Eschau foundation. According to the historian Theobald Walter, there was hardly any religious foundation that did not obtain great benefit from the work of the winegrowers of Rouffach.

Size | 72 hectares (178 acres) of which 68.21 hectares (168.5 acres) in Rouffach and 3.7 hectares (9.15 acres) in Westhalten (Tom Stevenson, 1993, p125).

Terroir | As Grand Cru Vorbourg is located in southern Alsace and is protected by the two highest peaks in the Vosges, namely the Petit Ballon and the Grand Ballon, it enjoys one of the driest and sunny climates of the region. Ripening is early. The vines are exposed south-south-east on a moderate slope. Elevation is 220-300 metres (722-984 feet). Vorbourg’s limestone-marl soil is established over conglomerates with sandstone pebbles and oolithic limestone, covered on its lower slopes by a superficial layer of loess (very fine, pale yellow silt deposits dating to the quaternary ice age and brought by the winds). All four grand cru varieties are supposed to do well here and are said to develop peach, apricot, mint and hazelnut aromas. Muscat benefits in warmer vintages. Pinot Noir produces skins heavy with pigment by virtue of the site getting the full glare of the sun from dawn to dusk (Tom Stevenson, 1993, p217-218).

Clos St-Landelin | The Clos St-Landelin is located at the southern end of Vorburg – see Muré for more details.

Wines

Gewurztraminer

Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives

Gewurztraminer Grains Nobles

Muscat

Muscat Vendanges Tardives

Muscat Grains Nobles

Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris Vendanges Tardives

Pinot Gris Grains Nobles

Riesling

Riesling Vendanges Tardives

Riesling Grains Nobles

Wineries

Certified Biodynamic | Domaine Pierre Frick.

Bibliography

Tom Stevenson, The Wines of Alsace, Faber & Faber, 1993, pp125-6, 139 & 217-8.