The house of Trimbach in Ribeauvillé, north-west of Colmar, dates back to 1626. It was only in the late 19th century, however, that the firm began to gain recognition and expand under the guidance of Frédéric-Emile Trimbach. It was he who first exhibited the wines on an international stage - from here the family-name started to grow in stature. Along with their own vines scattered around three villages, the Trimbachs also buy in grapes from other growers around Ribeauvillé. They own sites in several grand cru vineyards but, for the most part, have shunned the use of grand cru on their labels as they, along with some other growers, feel that the designation is not necessarily synonymous with quality.
Trimbach has made its reputation on its remarkable, dry steely rieslings with their intense minerality and purity of flavour. The jewel in the crown is the single-vineyard Clos Sainte-Hune, one of the greatest expressions of riesling anywhere in the world. Cuvée Frédéric Emile, which bears the name of the domaine’s most important fore-father, also has an excellent reputation and is more affordable. Excellent gewürztraminer is also produced here in a dry, perfumed style with plenty of concentration and richness. The late harvest wines made from riesling, gewürztraminer, pinot gris and muscat, although different from the classic Trimbach style in that they are sweet, are impressively structured and rich, but with enough acidity to retain freshness.
Trimbach has remained a family-owned operation over the centuries with the twelfth generation cousins Jean and Pierre presently in charge. Jean looks after the commercial side of the business, regularly attending Wine Society tastings and events on his travels. He has great knowledge of the wines and is a fitting ambassador for them. Pierre is the chief vigneron and winemaker, overseeing all stages of production from the vineyards through to selection and bottling.