This small co-operative, founded in 1954, has 110 members and 200 hectares of vineyard in the Haut-Rhin, nine kilometres from Colmar. Their wines are vinified using only their members' grapes, with a focus on expressing the rich diversity of Alsatian soils. Winemaker Nicolas Garde started at the winery in 2004 and his influence continues to be seen in the way the wines improve with each vintage.
Sheltered from oceanic influence by the Vosges Mountains, the Alsace wine region has a semi-continental climate which stays sunny and dry throughout the growing season, and this lengthens the ripening period for the grapes. The slopes surrounding Hunawihr, a picturesque village of half-timbered houses and a 14th century church, are some of the most celebrated in Alsace for grape-growing. Cave de Hunawihr’s fruit is sourced from 25 year-old vines grown in vineyards running along the south and south-east facing hillside slopes around the village, at an altitude of 250-320 metres. The vineyards cover an area of 36 hectares, located on a geological fault line across Ribeauvillé which gives soils composed of clayey limestone marl and chalky gravels.
Yields were low in 2017 due to the frost, but the quality of the grapes was very good. The harvest started earlier than normal, at the beginning of September.
Grapes were taken from selected small plots from the Hunawihr vineyards. Temperature-controlled fermentation took place between 16-18°C for three weeks, followed by four months in stainless-steel tanks to settle before being filtered carefully. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place to preserve the purity of the fruit.
This wine is pale yellow in colour with a silver tint. The nose is fresh and intense with floral and pear aromas. On the palate, elegant flavours of pear and apricot are matched with a subtle smokiness. Sugar and acidity are beautifully balanced on the long finish of this food-friendly wine.