Gourmet wine with a fine and fiery acidity, supported by its mineral and iodized patina. This is a riesling of great freshness, sprinkled with notes of anise, cider and sandalwood.
Since taking over the family winery at the age of 18, Bernard Bohn has crafted an individually unique style of wines on the only outcrop of schist terroir in Alsace. The Bohn family members have been winegrowers for well over three centuries in Reichsfeld, a small village at the far end of the valley, where until recently, the local Alsatian dialect was still more common than French. Today, Bernard and his son Arthur farm just over 9 hectares and go beyond organic agriculture to incorporate uncommon techniques, such as completely abandoning vineyard plowing and allowing cover crops to coexist to create balance in the vines.
As a passionate and atypical winegrower, Bernard immortalizes with his son, Arthur, the Bohn family’s viticultural tradition. The Bohn family has lived in Reichsfeld for over three centuries. This father and son team tend their vines on the surrounding hills (330- 400 metres) on which grapes benefit from a prolonged and slow maturing process.
The unique shale and greso-volcanic terroir is meticulously looked after. Yield is kept low and grapes are harvested by hand. Natural diversity and wildlife conservation are fundamental values for the Bohn wineyard. For many years Bernard and Arthur have chosen, as independent winegrowers, to follow organic, ecological methods for their vineyards.
This logic is taking them towards official certification for organic wines. This three year process which began in 2017 will produce the first official organic harvest in 2020. They recommend minimalistic wine production without any oenological inputs, and using sulfite free maceration methods. For a majority of their wines, vinification ends with prolonged aging in old barrels from the local Alsace area or casks in order to achieve the necessary balance and persistence of great gastronomic wines: mineral, aired, persistent, fresh and easily digested.
40km south of Strasbourg and away from traffic of the main wine route, Reichsfeld, the idyllic and preserved village which offers itself to those who want to get off the traditional journey. “So take your time to encounter the unpredictable surprise and be tempted by tasting wine in my cellar, then sharing our passions about wine together.” – Bernard Bohn
Since 12th century, the count of Andlau already planted the vines in Reichsfeld. Later on, in 14th century, the monastic vineyard has been developed around Baumgarten Cistercian abbey, extending from Schieferberg to Muenchberg. According to the book of ”Phantheum Hygiasticum”, written by Doctor Claudius Deodatus (1628) in Basel, Plus the “New Tisch Book” by Joan Sig Elsholzius, wines from Reichsfeld had been listed among the best wines of Alsace.
For more than two centuries, the BOHN family kept inheriting their knowledge about wine from father handover to son. After Bernard took over for his parents, René and Hélène, he is seeking to continue the impression and spirit of BOHN wines.
“I love: Sharing a glass of good wine, Being in communion with nature, Planting vines, Cherishing them, Harvesting the grapes, Transforming them into divine beverage to reach the initial pleasure, Sharing a glass of wine or more, create the new world.
In the morning I wake up…Planting vines, Cherishing them… And thus repeats the toil of winemaker while evolving towards perfection. And then, put a few of my dreams into bottles that will awake your senses and open your mind, so you can share the happiness in your turn. It is important that our lives have the great dreams and make them come true without hesitation. A happy man is the one who realizes his dreams. So my friend, fill up my glass…” – Bernard Bohn
Riesling is an aromatic white grape variety producing arguably some of the finest white wines in the world. Public misconception can give Riesling a negative connotation, but it actually varies greatly in style from bone-dry (“trocken”), off-dry (“halbtrocken”) to very sweet. The labelling terms for Riesling’s sweetness levels are as follows, each next one increasing in sweetness. Kabinett, being the lightest style, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, and Eiswein.
It is a wonder of a vine adapting and preserving its identity wherever it is grown. Riesling is the great grape of Germany, perhaps the world’s most important region for producing this variety. It is also of significant importance to Alsace, France and grown popularly in the United States and Australia.
These wines tend to have a prominent aroma of petroleum as well as beeswax or honey and flowers. They pair excellently with many foods depending on the style, but their classic partner is Indian or Asian dishes.
On the border between Germany and France lies the region of Alsace, renown for their aromatic white grape varietals, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. As with many other northerly regions in France, Alsace has a much cooler climate, which is showcased through how their vineyards lie on very steep slopes. These steep slopes, depending how they face, allow for the greatest potential of direct access to sunlight. Along with protection from wind by the Vosges Mountains, and the lack of clouds, these conditions allow for the grapes in Alsace to reach a proper level of sugar ripeness.
Riesling is the most widely planted grape variety here and traditionally has a recognizably high acidity with a medium-full body, flavors of citrus, stone fruits, and a stony/steely character. Gewürztraminer, famous for its distinct aromas of lychee and rose, also displays baking spices and a golden tinge to the final wine from the skin of the grape being a beautiful light pink color. Alsace additionally grows Pinot Gris, Muscat, and Pinot Blanc. All of their still wines are grown in a variety of styles including dry, off-dry, and sweet. Specific to this region you may see a few distinct labelling terms outside of Alsace and Alsace Grand Cru. These are Vendanges Tardives (VT) or ‘late harvest’ and Sélection de Grains Nobles (SGN). Both of these terms mean that the wines specified must be made from one of the four Alsace noble varieties: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, or Muscat, and they must have a specific minimum sugar ripeness depending on the grape variety. The SGN wines will have a higher level of sugar ripeness than those of VT. Wines with these labels will be sweeter!
Since taking over the family winery at the age of 18, Bernard Bohn has crafted an individually unique style of wines on the only outcrop of schist terroir in Alsace. The Bohn family members have been winegrowers for well over three centuries in Reichsfeld, a small village at the far end of the valley, where until recently, the local Alsatian dialect was still more common than French. Today, Bernard and his son Arthur farm just over 9 hectares and go beyond organic agriculture to incorporate uncommon techniques, such as completely abandoning vineyard plowing and allowing cover crops to coexist to create balance in the vines. Riesling is the king of white wines on one of Bernard Bohn’s favourite terroirs: shale.