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Few wineries have a legacy that can match Trimbach: Since its founding in 1626, the Trimbach family has steadily advanced the status of the wines of Alsace, specifically by focusing on exceptional vineyard sites. In fact, the Trimbachs were already tending the precious Riesling vines that would become the Geisberg and Osterberg Grands Crus centuries before the region’s Grand Cru system was officially approved in 1975.
These famed plots lie directly behind the Trimbach winery in Ribeauvillé, and form the backbone for the estate’s flagship wine, the Frédéric Emile Riesling. Named for the Trimbach ancestor who helped establish the winegrowers and merchants’ collective in Alsace in the 19th century, the wine has become a highly sought-after emblem of Alsace terroir.
Today, the 13th generation of Trimbachs is re-introducing this flagship wine to contemporary wine lovers with a new label and shortened name.
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“A wine label is the first message we give to a potential Trimbach lover,” explains Anne Trimbach of the estate’s decision to redesign their iconic golden labels. In reimagining the Frédéric Emile label, the family eliminated the word “cuvée” to reduce confusion since the wine is not a blend. Though the wine technically comes from two Grand Cru sources, the Riesling vines behind Frédéric Emile exist in a single plot that straddles the border between the Osterberg and Giesberg Grands Crus.
Today, Trimbach is the third largest owner of Grands Cru vineyards in Alsace. While Grands Crus in Alsace represent four percent of total production, Trimbach’s Grands Crus represent approximately 30 percent of their total production. The winery produces Grand Cru wines from the prestigious Geisburg, Schlossberg, Brand, and Mandelberg vineyards and, of course, the iconic Clos Ste Hune Vineyard from the Rosacker Grand Cru in Hunawihr. Each wine evokes complex and nuanced notions of terroir, channeling the unique geology and climatic influences that permeate the dry climate of Alsace.
The 13the generation includes future winemaker Julien, who works under his uncle and current Trimback winemaker Pierre, along with Anne, Frédérique, and Pauline, who work in exports, marketing and sales, and procurement and French market sales, respectively.
The Trimbach family remains committed to upholding their legacy by preserving these spectacular vineyards. “We have never used insecticides and pesticides,” says Anne of Trimbach’s sustainable history. “The next logical step was to become organic.”
The family began the official conversion to certified organic farming in 2008 with their prestigious Clos Ste. Hune vineyard. In addition to planting trees, installing nesting boxes for beneficial birds, and employing sheep throughout the vineyards, all Trimbach wines will have a certified organic seal on the label beginning in 2023.
“I have always said I would rather eat a non-treated apple than an apple treated 26 times a year,” says Anne. “We eat organic and healthy. We also want to drink organic and healthy—and treat our vineyards in the best possible way.”