"Mélanie Pfister would probably be a star in Germany but as an Alsacienne producing really fine wines seems to be not enough. You also have to fight against the current, rather outmoded image of Vin d’Alsace." -- Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate, September 2015
We couldn't agree more. Mélanie is relatively new on the scene, having taken over from her father in 2006, but she has very quickly made a name for herself. Prior to taking over the domaine, Mélanie did internships at Zind-Humbrecht (Alsace), Méo-Camuzet (Burgundy), Château Cheval Blanc (Saint Emilion), Château d’Yquem (Sauternes) and Craggy Range (New Zealand). It’s worth noting that most aspiring winemakers would take it as a fine feather in the cap to be accepted into any one of those training programs, and Mélanie got into all of them.
At the beginning of 2018 Mélanie and her father decided to embark 100% into organic viticulture. Certification takes three years and is expected with vintage 2021. It’s important to understand, however, that this step into organics is a small and logical one. In the early 1980s, Mélanie’s father quit using herbicides and adopted a no-till regimen. He was way out in front of his generation, but to him it was clear that this was a much healthier and natural way to farm grapes.
Paar means pair in German; this wine is made from the two varietals, Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois. The vineyard surface is six acres essentially split between the two varietals, but Mélanie's wine tends to have a bit more Pinot Blanc than Auxerrois. Some is reserved for the sparkling wine, but most goes into this still bottling. Pinot Blanc gives floral notes and fine acidity; Auxerrois gives fat and spice. Most of the current crop of vines was planted in 1973 and '74, with a small section dating from the late '60s, and all grow in predominately clay soils. Production averages 500 cases annually.
About her family’s style of wine, Mélanie wrote the following in 2012: “The house style appeared itself as the style of wine my parents and grandparents liked to drink: aromatic, well-balanced, rather dry style of wines. As a matter of fact, my grandfather used to say, Finally, I am probably the one who drinks the most of my wines, so I craft the wines I like! – no concession, he liked dry wines.”