In 1949, Fernand, founder of Domaine Fernand Engel begins the great adventure of wine in his family when he wants to develop and sell his own wine. As the years went by, as Fernand’s family is getting bigger, so as it’s estate. With the help of the whole family, the estate now covers 62 hectares from 32 hectares.
The whole vineyard consists of 62 hectares in own harvest and is spread over more than 160 plots in 8 different villages. Each plot has its own identity made of soil, a grape and a planting age, an exposure, a microclimate. The imprint of these different terroirs gives their wines an extra soul, a singular and complex touch. This alchemy shapes the diversity and complexity of Engel wines.
The precise and straightforward healthy wines that the Engel family strives to produce every year are the result of constant demand. In the vineyard as in the winery, each action is carried out with rigour and control, down to the smallest details.
Recently, they have joined America Wines Awards 2019 and many of their wines received an award from AmericaWinesPaper.com. Here’s the list of wines that won the competition:
Crémant d’Alsace Tradition BRUT Non Vintage
Crémant d’Alsace Chardonnay 2018 BRUT
Riesling Réserve 2017
Gewurztraminer Clos des Anges 2018
Pinot Gris Clos des Anges 2018
Pinot Gris Réserve 2018
Riesling Meyerhof 2017
Riesling Clos des Anges 2017
Pinot Noir Cuvée Fernand 2017
An interview with Xavier Baril, he’s the managing partner at Domaine Fernand Engel and the oenologist of the estate. His creative temperament is found in wines and in particular the new ranges (Renaissance).
Question 1: Do you already export to America? If yes, where? If no, what type of importers & distributors are you looking for in America?
Xavier: Yes, we are currently exporting to the USA via VOTTO VINES IMPORTING and MR WINE companies. But we are looking to find regional importer and distributor to expand our brand.
Question 2: What is the most unique and qualitative part of your products, different from competitors?
Xavier: After 20 years of organic farming and biodynamic work, we could notice that our wines own more acidity than in the past And more mineral content (Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Manganese, …). So our wines are more salivating style than in the past. We are fond of dry wines that are long in mouth and vinous at the same time. We plan to produce elegant and balanced wines, we don’t look for over-extraction.
In sparkling wines, we save the own sugars of the grapes for the fermentation in the bottle. We harvest on average at 12,2-12,4 natural alcohol potential and we stop fermentation with frost at 11%vol alcohol reached. That way, bubbles are very fine and elegant, in mouth, bubbles are rolling on the palate.
Concerning reds, 15 years ago, we started to planted high density (7500 stocks per ha) on calcareous and marly subsoils that warm well during green season.
So our Pinot Noir is very riped and matured, that way we can do long skin contact and extract soft tannins. Our Pinot Noir is very fruity and has velvety sensation on the palate.
Question 3: When did you start to export your brand worldwide, and what is your development plan for the next years?
Xavier: We started export development in 1987 with “local” export (Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark). I achieved my studies of Agriculture Ingenior and Oenologist in 1996. Then from 2001 to 2004, we started Scandinavia prospection and Italia. From 2007 to 2012, we extended to Baltic republics and Poland and to Asia (Hong Kong, India, Japan, China). During that period we also answered to Monopoly tender in Canada that opened new markets.
Now our ambition is to launch: Top ageing potential Rieslings, very riped Pinot Noir and generous dry Sparkling, after 4-5 years of ageing, in the matured markets like US, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Germany, UK, Netherlands…
Now, the winery has become one of the most important Alasatian areas in organic farming. The new generations perpetuate with humility and passion, the spirit of Fernand, the founder.
If you want to see more of their products, please click here.