Meet Hubert and Heidi Hausherr. They live AND work in the village of Eguisheim in Alsace, France. Some 40 years ago, Hubert helped his father plant their family’s 3.9 hectares of vineyards on the sloped foothills of the Vosges Mountains just behind their house (and winery). As was customary in the old days, and to foster vineyard diversity, they planted each vineyard parcel with multiple varieties.
Hubert follows the same, simple mantra that has long guided the most respected vignerons in the wine world – the real, hard work is done in the vineyard. Hubert farms his family’s vineyards organically (since 2006!) and biodynamically with his horse, Skippy (no tractors!), and his own hands. He only uses a clay-based treatment in the vineyard (to ward off mildew).
The result is a diverse, endemic ecosystem, one where the vine is at home amongst its natural, living neighbors. And each of his wines is an expression of a specific, unique, single vineyard.
Hubert brought some of that real, hard work into the cellar – he built two manual, vertical wood-slat presses. He even hand-laid the tile mosaic press floors. Here, he presses each field-planted vineyard, or lieu-dit, separately, and the juice native ferments in neutral oak barrels of various sizes. The wines are racked once before bottling with no sulfur additions (or additions of any kind!) during the entire winemaking process.
Hubert embodies the humble, intelligent, creative, artisan vigneron at that nexus of wine and living art. His wines are the transparent culmination of his, his horse’s, and his family’s hard work, and the raw terroir that borne them. Most importantly, they’re delicious. Elegantly tense and languidly long; salty, mouth-watering, and ever-evolving; wines you want to get to know for longer than it takes to drink a single bottle.
Meet Skippy, who works very hard.
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