Charles Baur is located in Eguisheim, in the heart of Alsace, 3 miles away from Colmar. The estate has been in the family since the early 18th century and in 1930, Albert Baur bought the farmhouse that currently hosts the winery. In 1950, his son Charles started bottling and marketing the wine produced; he gradually extended the estate, acquiring excellent vineyards. A meticulous and enterprising winegrower, Charles later transmitted his know-how to his son Armand, who took over the business in 1980, after obtaining a degree in oenology. Arnaud, the son of Armand and Brigitte Baur, joined the family business in 2009, after obtaining a degree in agricultural engineering, with a specialization in winegrowing and oenology. Today, the domaine covers 17 hectares of vines, on the finest slopes of Eguisheim and its immediate vicinity. The vineyard also has several plots located in the Grand Crus Brand, Eichberg and Pfersigberg.
In order to produce top quality wines, yields are kept at a moderate level, and the grapes are all hand-harvested and hand-sorted. They are then pressed whole, in pneumatic presses. The Baur wines are all from estate fruit and the goal is to produce Alsatian wines that are balanced, elegant, and that bring out the particular qualities of each terroir and each vintage. Fermentations are long and temperatures are kept under close control. After fermentation, all the wines mature on the lees for several months. The Baur family also produces elaborate eaux de vie, with the fruits from their own orchards.
The vineyards in Eguisheim: predominantly limestone and clay soil, on slopes of medium steepness. Protected by the first foothills of the Vosges, there is little rainfall (less than 600 mm per year), which favors maturation and limits disease. Wines from these slopes are renowned since the Middle Ages. For several years, the Baur family has cultivated vineyards located on the two “Grand Cru” areas of Eguisheim:
– Grand Cru Eichberg: the soil is made of clay, and its subsoil is rich in sandstone, limestone and silica. The Eichberg wines are distinguished by their remarkable aromatic complexity. The Baur family owns 2.2 ha of Muscat, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer in this Grand Cru.
– Grand Cru Pfersigberg: this vineyard is extremely rich in limestone and clay, with very steep south exposed slopes and a well drained subsoil. The Pfersigberg wines are renowned for their delicacy. The Baurs’ cultivate 1 ha of Gewürztraminer.
The vineyard in Turckheim : The Grand Cru Brand, a renowned Alsatian vineyard moulded on a natural cirque, with south and southeast exposure. Since 2008, Charles Baur cultivates 54 ares of Riesling and 16 ares of Pinot Gris in this Grand Cru. The soil is mostly composed of sand and granite. With great finesse, subtility, and a very specific fruitiness, the Brand wines display regal balance.
The vineyard in Colmar: they are located in the plain. These vineyards have “poor” soils which are rich in sand and alluvia. Wines from these vineyards are light and fruity.
Farming practices: Certified Organic since the 2014 vintage.
2013 vintage notes: The winter was relatively mild but very humid. March saw colder weather and a little bit of snow. In April, only 2 periods of four sunny days in a row, with otherwise cool and rainy weather. May and June were also relatively cold and humid, with a late blooming – between June 15th and June 25th. In July, warm and dry weather, sometimes stormy. August was warm and relatively dry – besides some periods of rain, which was necessary because the soils were dry and some vines began to suffer. Unfortunately, 1 hectare was damaged by the hail and the Baurs’ lost 30% of the fruit there. Harvest started around September 20th for the Crémant, and at the beginning of October for the other cuvées.
2014 vintage notes: The winter was mild and humid, with almost no negative temperatures. March was warm and dry and that weather lasted until April 25th, with a bud burst around April 1st. On April 15th, some vineyards got damaged by frost (15% of the total). May was nice and a little bit rainy. The blooming period started on June 1st, followed by a warm and dry month. Arnaud Baur feared damages because of water stress, but July was fortunately wet, with 150 mm rainfall. August was mild but not warm. The harvest started on September 5th for the sparkling wines. September was sunny but some grapes already had rotten berries. The vintage required a selective hand picking and sorting in order to only keep the best fruit. Harvest was small in quantity. The first tastings reveal beautiful wines with nice flavors, and a good structure.
2015 vintage notes: warm vintage. The wines are rich, with a wonderful complexity, and that was a great year for Pinot Noir, showing the potential of Alsace for that variety. Harvest for the Crémant d’Alsace started very early in September. The grapes were beautiful, with no rotten berries. The weather stayed dry until November 15th.
2016 vintage notes: the wines have a pleasant fruitiness and freshness. The weather conditions in September and October were very good, allowing for perfect grape ripeness. The harvest for the Crémant d’Alsace started on September 12th. Then Pinot Noir followed, on September 27th. The harvest lasted until the end of October.