Dirler-Cadé is a family-run winery in Alsace that uses Biodynamic practices to produce sophisticated reds, whites, and rosés from an array of Alsatian Grand Crus and storied lieux-dits. More than a century before natural winemaking was en vogue, Jean Dirler founded his winemaking endeavor on the motto “natural wines, fine wines.” In 1871, he settled in the village of Bergholtz—a town of just around 1,000 people—where he started a “gourmet” called Vins Dirler. Five subsequent generations have honored his motto as they’ve tended Alsace’s finest vineyards—but perhaps none more than the current winemaker, also named Jean Dirler. Inspired by a course he took with Biodynamics advocate and winemaking consultant François Bouchet, Jean began applying what he’d learned to the family’s estate in 1998. That same year, he married Ludivine Hell-Cadé, the daughter of two Guebwiller-based winemakers. The two winemaking families merged in 2000, forming Dirler-Cadé. Their collective holdings total 18 hectares, 42% of which reside in the Saering, Spiegel, Kessler, and Kitterlé Grand Crus. They also have plantings in the Belzbrunnen, Schwarzberg, Bux, Schimberg, and Bollenberg lieux-dits. The sites contain Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Muscat, Sylvaner, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer, and the family farms these vines with fastidious care. They use natural cover crops, herbal teas, and other b practices to cultivate a thriving, biodiverse ecosystem. In the winery, they use slow whole-cluster presses, spontaneous fermentations, and prolonged maturation on the lees to produce expressive, complex wines.
- Producer: Domaine Dirler-Cadé
- Vendor: Dirler-Cade EARL
- Varietals: Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Muscat d'Alsace, Muscat Ottonel, Sylvaner, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer
- Labor Practices: A team of 5 to 11 people help us all year long to take care of the vineyard and the work in the cellar. The grapes are picked only by hand and we have a team of 20 people at harvest time. In order to preserve a good atmosphere and cohesion of the group, we share the meal and the wines with our pickers. The people we employ often have a very close relationship with nature and the plant. It is important to harvest the fruit of our work of the year in a joyful and good mood, with a positive energy.
- Organic Practice Certificates: Ecocert Certified
- Sustainable Practices: We work in the respect of the living: human, animal and vegetable and preserve the biodiversity! We also respect the individuality of each person who provides his or her work force. We privilege the work done by hand by the women or men of our team (pruning, descent of the wood, ploughing, tying, disbudding, raising of the wires of palissage, manual palissage, tying of the young vines, pulverizations of the herbal teas and the biodynamic preparations, grape harvests only carried out by hand). In the vineyards, we use a service provider for the ploughing done with the help of a horse. We use renewable energies in our domain, so we invested in 2022 in a heating system with pellets and wood logs.
- Country: France
- Region: Alsace
- Sub Region: Haut-Rhin
- Producer: Domaine Dirler-Cadé