Schlumberger is Alsace’s largest estate with some 140 hectares under vine, half of them occupying grand cru sites. A full range is produced here, all of it coming from the estate. The history of Schlumberger is fascinating as it ties in with textiles and, eventually, textile machinery. Wine was, however, a passion for Nicolas Schlumberger and it was he who started the domaine in 1810.
The vineyards are, for the most part, on beautifully laid steep terraces up to an altitude of 380m where horses are required to work the land instead of machinery. Nearly half the vineyard is farmed organically, of which 30 hectares are farmed biodynamically.
Yields were never high here but these additional and self-imposed constraints reduced them still further. Séverine Schlumberger is in charge of sales and the force behind some of the extraordinary transformation that has taken place here for over a decade. The winemaker is Alain Freyburger, who is very good news. One of the first things he did was to get rid of Schlumberger’s venerable and all too often leaky casks and bring in gleaming stainless steel, and quality has gone from strength to strength.
The portfolio provides a variety of quality wines from all the Alsace grape varieties, though it is the gewurztraminers and rieslings that particularly stand out for their precision and perfume. Grand cru holdings in Kitterle, Kessler, Saering and Spiegel are particularly worthy of note. Some very good late-harvest wines are also produced when conditions are right.