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The Independent Thinkers of Alsace

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The Independent Thinkers of Alsace


Last June, for the very first time I visited Alsace. I dropped my bag in Colmar and zipped up north to Nothalten, on the upper ribbon of the vineyards. That’s where Patrick Meyer houses his family and domaine, and it was my initial stop on this, my apology tour to the region.

Patrick the Philosopher

Patrick’s wines intrigue and delight me. He starts with extremely thoughtful biodynamic agriculture. Because he embraces oxygen in his winemaking process his wines sometimes develop a flor, as in the Jura. He strives to use no sulfur, most often succeeds, and is researching sulfur derived from the plant world. His wines are not the usual expressions of fruit and yet they still taste of a place. They require a paradigm shift, so I prepared myself as he approached one of his concrete egg-shaped fermenters and siphoned some of his 2011 sandstone and basalt Grand Cru vineyard Muenchberg into my glass. Seeing my perplexed look as I sniffed, he drove the point home, “It’s Muenchberg, not riesling!” I felt he left off the, “Dummy! Do you get it?”