New Arrivals – Catherine Riss

Catherine Riss began her journey to the vineyard in her youth, working in her family restaurant, only 30 minutes from her domaine. It was here that she found a great love for food and wine, but also where she decided not to pursue a career in hospitality. After finishing her education, she moved west to Beaune and Dijon, where she studied viticulture and oenology, spending time interning with Jean Louis Trepat. Some years later, after a period of winemaking outside of France, she returned to her native Alsace, in charge of Chapoutier’s vineyards in Reichsfeld in 2009.

Determined to set up her own project, she purchased 1.3 hectares in 2012, with support from her new friends in the region, Lucas Rieffel and Antoine Kreydenweiss. Catherine produced her first wines in Rieffel’s cellar, where she was based until acquiring her own space in 2015.

Until recent years the project has been managed entirely by Catherine, the only employee on what had grown to become 4 hectares of vines. Working almost entirely alone all year round. For the 2020 vintage, she invited a wholly female workforce to help her work across her ten plots, most of which sit on fast draining sandstone, and her prized Schieferberg Cru parcel, with unique and rare crumbly blue schist.

All vineyards are cared for organically. In the cellar, all work is manual, and she does not own a de-stemmer. Grapes are pressed using a German Wilmes press, which is gentle and slow. All elevage takes place in old barriques on lees, and wines are unfiltered, unfined and only in rare cases will have minute additions of sulphur. Quantities from the domaine are extremely limited, and we are lucky to be one of the few export markets for Catherine’s wines.

A handful can be found on our website now, strictly limited to one bottle per customer.