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Domaine Marcel DEISS is located in Bergheim, a small village nestling in the heart of the wine region of Alsace, equidistant from the northern and southern boundaries of the region. Current winemaker Jean-Michel DEISS was born into a long-established family of wine growers, living at BERGHEIM since 1744.

Managed today by Jean-Michel DEISS, the domaine consists of 26 hectares (52 acres) of hillside vineyards spread over 9 communes and approximately 20 kilometers .

The extreme variation in conditions of production at the domaine have led Jean-Michel DEISS to seek to express in each wine the three factors that make a wine complete : the grape variety, the vintage and the terroir.

The greater the wine, the more the gustatory characteristics linked to the soil take the place of the typicity linked to grape variety or vintage.

When speaking of terroir, the following have to be taken into consideration : geology, pedology, climate and microclimate, technical exploitation of the character of the soil, microfauna and flor, and the traditional methods and techniques used to produce wines

A fascination with medieval history and a desire to produce world class Vins de Garde were

the impetus behind Jean-Michel DEISS quest for excellence from his Alsace vineyards. His commitment and personal integrity have led him to the conclusion that, as in most other parts of France, it is the dedicated nurturing of vines in specific terroirs which produces wines of unique distinction, originality, and authenticity.

His efforts have focused on producing complexity and concentration, and the results fall into three broad categories :

1)      Wine of Fruits :varietally labelled wines from a single designated commune or village

2)      Terroir Wine: field blends of varietals designated, indeed dominated, by their terroir and site and soil specificity, which he refers to as his Premiers Crus and the AOC-recognized Grands Crus

3)      Time Wine : and classic late harvest wines with the Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles designations

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The complantation (art of blending grape varietals in one Terroir) is the most original practice of viticulture in Europe. Long before the winemakers knew about the varieties and become scholar ampelographers, the complantation assumes a regular harvest as noted by Olivier de Serres in his book "The Theatre of agriculture and husbandry fields" (1600 ). Closer to our ear (1852), Jean-Louis Stolz characterized more than 100 grape varieties that cultivars planted in the vineyard in Alsace and described specific complantations in the greatest terroirs of Alsace (Sporen, Schoenenbourg Sonnenglanz, Zotzenberg, Kastelberg, Kaefferkopf). At that time, there were very few pure vineyard, the wine makers gradually realized a real adaptation of a complex vines in the terroir by layering technique (replace artistically a dead vine by its resistant neighbor better adapted) .

While the grape variety has always been optional for AOC Alsace (Order 1945) and many plots on hillsides were still co-planted in the 60s, the introduction of the legislation which requires the mention of grape variety for Grand Cru (1975 ) can be considered as a historical mistake because it has resulted in a dramatic loss of biodiversity of vineyards, establishment of productive clones and a shift in all varieties. Fortunately, some winemakers have the perseverance and obstinacy, and in 2005, to reform this unjust law (the grape variety is now entirely optional for AOC Alsace and the Grand Cru).

Now it’s time for us to re-discover the original encépagements of Grands Terroirs in Alsace!

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If we express the biodynamic as a conception of the whole world, where each stone, each vine, each being has its own background, where we are all connected to a cosmos of inside and outside, where the only visible scum of things .... then yes, we are biodynamic! Long time ago, as far as my memories of being a student, I have confronted with my masters (often disappointing them) with my polite skepticism on the real academic, the real analytic, and the real psychological: these references seemed just like a tiny fragment of the whole visible world for me. Since then, I got an appetite not yet sated for all the invisible: I was probably born to meet with the texts of the great mystics, with the thoughts of Steiner, and I was supposed to be ready for the encounter with Francis Boucher, ready for the friendship and respect of P. Masson. Hence, my appetite for the world's beauty, for the poetries of the mornings will never be extinguished. Listening to the lecture from Voltaire or Garcia Lorca, the prelude from Bach and Requiem of Mozart's, finally with a glass of Schoenenbourg in hand.

No, our biodynamic is not especially "executive", we are neither in the frenetic rite of préparâts, nor the worshipers of Marie Thun , nor the specialists in the posture to have the Moon on our humble lives. Of course, these plans exist and we don’t challenge them at all. "500" and "501" steps can lead us to the  the heart of the vineyard by our approaches. There are too many days "without…", but profoundly, we don’t want to replace the algebraic certainties with the crazy scientific theorems formed in a religious sectarian of biodynamic: we buried doubts and questions into our work.

Doubt and desire are one way to embrace the whole world, to penetrate to the bottom of each decision, just to "desire" not to "understand" what to do. The doubt and desire become simple tools; the humble and magnificent dwell in the perfection of the use, and in the simple picking sleeves marked by human hands - worn by the service. For us it is not the question of what to do and why to do it every morning, but the question of "feeling" all the other beings beyond our sight. Agriculture is often a succession of recipes in mode, and dedicated for gurus and interests. We prefer the opinion of the sky, the mood of the land and the endless litany of plants torn between absolute determinism of genetics and the desire of free referee, the appetite of "Terroir". They are becoming the plants that has more humanity and keeps on seeking for the truth of the world on its deep roots, its incomprehensible logic, the Sacred one.

This is our biodynamic: we always prefer the question to the answer, the quest for the certainty, the sensation and the desire to the precepts of the gurus. We don’t worry about making decisions to cultivate which parcels or to taste which cuvee, this kind of recall won’t wake us up in the night…

Yes, our biodynamic is demanding, sometimes grueling, yes it is difficult to live in seeking the humanity inside each vine with one triumph among one thousand failures, an unbearable speech where the words themselves end up in telling contradictions. Finally, the victory seems almost a whole imposture!

Someone says that biodynamic by itself is not immune to this crisis and that essentially speaking, by the personal approach, it is impossible to be institutionalize. No doubt this is true ... and it is probably the underlying reason for our unremitting attempt as terroir wine grower, tenderly, romantically and almost desperately because man is chosen to play the most humble role, looking tenderly at a world where the plant is the center, and which is united in the name of earth and sky.

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Inside information

Jean-Michel Deiss's wines are without doubt among the most exciting of the region. His experimental field blends in the wines he likes to call 'level of Premier Cru' are immensely impressive and worth experimenting with - they each have a definite and unique character, and are some of the most fascinating white wines in the world. Deiss may be a contrary character himself, not always in tune with other producers in the area, but the quality in the wines really does speak for what he has achieved. Biodynamic.

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Ian D' Agata, Wine Writer (Italy)  tasted  1 wines  from  Domaine Marcel Deiss . In a tasting of  16 wines 

Hugel Riesling Vendange Tardive 2012 / Bright golden yellow. Candied lemon peel, custard cream and apple pie on the very refined nose, with a hint of minty herbs. Sweet, dense and lush, but with a terrific spine of acidity framing the pineapple and fresh citrus flavors. Really opened with aeration to show knockout complexity. Hugel was unsure initially about making a VT in this vintage but in the end opted to make this one. The grapes are from the Schoenenbourg.

19d 21h ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Domaine Marcel Deiss . In a tasting of  80 wines 

OK, the first five Champagne's was Friday evening, the rest of these wines was Saturday, from morning until night. This was a day and a weekend I will remember for the rest of my life! Nearly all were served blind.

2y 1m ago

 Teemu Korhonen, Wine Lover (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Domaine Marcel Deiss . In a tasting of  30 wines 

Tasting of the White wines from all over the world.

2y 5m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Domaine Marcel Deiss . In a tasting of  9 wines 

The Dark Moon Rising -tasting: Last night, people in Western Europe, South America, and America's East Coast had front row seats to the super blood moon. It was a rare astronomical event in which a total lunar eclipse happened during the same night as a supermoon. The result was a particularly large and shiny full moon that turned dark red for over an hour. We cewlebrated it with friends and "dark bloody" wines.

3y 3d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Domaine Marcel Deiss . In a tasting of  9 wines 

Yesterday we had seven course dinner with wines like Lafite 1959 (three bottles), Gruaud Larose 1961 (four bottles) and so on!

4y 9m ago

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