The family and team at the Domaine RIEFLÉ feel fortunate to live and work in such exceptional surroundings and wish to share with you their passion for an environmentally sustainable approach to winemaking.
The wine producing areas are divided up into over 70 different parcels and each one is treated individually according to their unique characteristics in order to strengthen the connection between the terroir and the wine it produces. This connection is the signature of a great wine and requires a careful preservation of the fragile balance of the soil by alternating labour work, natural grassing and compost. In accordance with the Organic Agriculture (AB) charter, no pesticide or other synthetic chemical product is used in the vineyards.
This allows the vine to grow in an environment that encourages its root system to develop a direct contact with trace elements and minerals in the soil and sub-soil. The vine thus remains unaffected by exterior influences since it draws its strength from deeper down where there is little variation in temperature and hygrometry. This ensures unique wines with good acidic structure and complexity, vintage upon vintage.
After all these efforts, we believe that each grape deserves to be harvested by human hands. Machine harvesting is not permitted, thereby reducing the detrimental effects of compression on the grapes and the soil.
AOC Crémant d’Alsace is one of the many sparkling wine appellations in France. The Crémant d’Alsace is a fresh and elegant wine made using the ''traditional'' sparkling method which involves a second fermentation in the bottle to give it its effervescence. 6 grape varieties are authorised for the production of this festive wine: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay. Grapes are generally picked at the very beginning of the harvest as this is when they display the best harmony and balance between potential alcohol and acidity.
At Domaine RIEFLÉ, we have chosen to use Pinot Blanc and Pinot Auxerrois to make our Brut Blanc de Blancs, and Pinot Noir to make our Brut Rosé. Its effervescence is derived from the addition of a ''liqueur de tirage'', made from a mix of yeast and sugar, which results in a second fermentation in the bottle, known as a ''prise de mousse''.
The Crémant is aged on racks for a 12 to 18 month period during which the bottles are gradually turned in an upside-down position, using gyropalettes, so that the neck of the bottle faces downwards. This process allows us to gather the dead yeast deposits that slip into the neck of the bottle ready to be discharged (a process known as ''dégorgement'').
This process involves the removal of the deposits from the bottle. In order to do so, the bottle-necks are immersed in a -25°C solution which freezes the wine and traps the deposits in the form of an ice cube.
The bottle cap is then removed and the deposits are expelled by the pressure contained inside the bottle. The volume of wine lost during this process is replaced by a ''liqueur de dosage'' which determines the final balance of the Crémant. Most are classed as ''Brut'' with <12 g/l of sugar.