This domaine came about in 1959 following the marriage of Léonard Humbrecht and Geneviève Zind. It has become one of, if not the very greatest estate in all of Alsace with wines that are much envied by others; copied but rarely matched. The family’s 40 hectares of fine vineyards, run on biodynamic lines across five villages, provide a substantial resource from which to produce a whole array of fabulous, terroir-expressive wines. Following in his father Léonard’s extraordinary footsteps Olivier Humbrecht has assumed responsibility of the estate with gusto and has continued to build on his father’s considerable achievements. As well as his triumphs in the family domaine Olivier is the first Frenchman to gain the Master of Wine qualification.
There are many reasons for the resounding success of this domaine, not least the Humbrechts’ unwavering commitment to their precious vineyards, some of which are on notoriously difficult steep sites. Many are unworkable by machine, so the Humbrechts use horses to plough the land.
As well as owning vines in 4 grand cru vineyards – Brand, Hengst, Goldert and Rangen – the domaine also makes wines from a number of single vineyards, or lieux-dits, including some rare walled sites, which have no status in the cru system but nevertheless have immense potential of their own.
In the winery the approach is non-interventionist. The regular bottlings need at least a couple of years’ ageing whereas most of the single-vineyard or grand cru wines require at least 5 years, whether regular or late-harvest bottlings.
Olivier is married to Margaret, a Scot by birth. They own a croft in the Highlands, where Olivier can indulge his other passion - whisky. He sources his own bottlings which he sells in France and is also a keen distiller making tiny quantities of extraordinarily scented eaux de vie.