Opening in Bergheim
During the Thirty Years’ War, the Lorentz family still wasn’t based in Bergheim, but in the town of Ribeauvillé. Michel Lorentz, “A la Fleur” inn-keeper having received the right of citizenship. Adam Lorentz (1667-1744) worked in the gourmet sector here. Finally, Michel Lorentz is cited as cooper in 1725.
A branch of the Lorentz family moved to Bergheim in 1748 following the marriage of Jean-Georges Lorentz, winemaker and farrier.
His son, Pierre Lorentz, married the young daughter of the mayor of the time (Nicolas Schmitt). Pierre Lorentz’s functions in the judiciary made him the victim of some grudges and he was not sheltered from malicious acts: thus 160 feet of his vines were cut off flush, the others at 20cm (one foot).
The dynasty continued its ascension with Jacques Lorentz born in 1798 and Charles Lorentz born in 1836. And the Bergheim estate continued to expand from 329ha in 1836 to almost 400ha in 1893.
At the time of the Reichsland
Born on 2nd June 1869, only shortly before Alsace became part of the German empire, Gustave Lorentz father have a strong impetus to the family business. But times were hard: a series of poor harvests discouraged wine-growing. More specifically, Alsace wines were used as base wines for blending with German wines. The vineyard changed due to the appearance of the phylloxera in 1905.
It was in this difficult context that Charles Lorentz father was born on 23rd May 1903.
An exceptional captain: Charles son
It was after the second world war that Charles Lorentz son (born in 1934) developed the family business by buying the business of several estates thus benefiting from the best facilities.
When Charles Lorentz hand the reins of the business over to his son Georges in 1995, the estate covered 32ha and bought grapes produced on the 120 hectares of the Bergheim land.
19th and 20th centuries, Passionate Pioneers
A passion for the business drove Charles LORENTZ Father to focus on excellence by developing his vineyard on the ALTENBERG hillside in BERGHEIM.
Historically, the harvests from these hills with exceptional potential are vinified separately. Thus Riesling, Pinot-Gris, Gewurztraminer and other Muscats native to this Altenberg express this region’s unique character from vintage to vintage. The result of this persistent obstinacy was the classification of the vineyard to the rank of Grand Cru in 1983.
The second of the Grands Crus owned, more modest in size, is the KANZLERBERG. A rich heir to a long history linked to the Knights of St John and the Order of the Templar, it allows, on its gypsum marl soil, expression of the complex finesse of the Riesling, and more recently the Pinot Gris.
We understand, for your enjoyment, that these exceptional wines are, above all, wines with great ageing potential, not revealing their immense potential until some years of rest.
According to these rules, our various Bergheim terroirs give the five varieties in our “Cuvée Particular” range a strong personality: Riesling, Muscat, Pinot-Gris, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir are the result of our permanent quest to match the grape variety to the soil and the climate.
We have this same concern for the selection of varieties, showing the best of the personality of all our varieties in our “Reserve” and “Millésimé” wine ranges.
It is through this experience, which is more than a century old, that we strive to best express our varieties of our unique geology. But depending on the vintage, to exceed the limits by taking the risk of sacrificing some of our more mature grapes, to the vagaries of the weather. When nature is mild, then it will give us the opportunity to get beautiful “Late Harvests” and even more concentrated, our rare “Sélection de Grains Nobles” harvested after successive sorting when the grapes are rotting (botrytis cinerea).
21st century, conversion to Organic
Our Ethic: Quality
This starts with the vine, and careful matching of the grape varieties with the terroirs, but also includes control of yields, and total respect for the plant and its environment. « The essence of our wines is the result of the intimate relationship between grape variety, terroir and climate »
After many years of reasoned growing, in 2009 we decided to reconvert our plots to Organic Growing. Each year these wines bear a grape able to produce a wine with a strong personality.
In the cellar, each variety, each vintage, each denomination and each appelation will be treated with special care and the following will continue even with the technologies at its disposal:
Respect for the grape
: pressing of whole grapes using pneumatic pressing equipment.
Respect for the must
: Settling through sedimentation: a natural method to remove impurities before fermentation.
Respect for the alchemy of the alcoholic fermentation
: a gently control thanks to the thermoregulation.
Respect for the wine
: clarification through gentle filtration so as not to spoil the wine’s constituents.
Respect for the product
: choice of the packaging elements most suited to our wines to guarantee their optimal evolution.
Thus, from the vine to the casks andto our bottles, we will endeavour to give you the best the most accurate picture of our varieties, terroirs and vintages.