Domaine Barmès Buecher was founded in 1985 and is run by Geneviève Barmès. It is a relatively large domaine with 16.37 biodynamic hectares, spread over four communes: Wettolsheim, Wintzenheim, Turckheim and Eguisheim. Some 2 hectares of the Barmès Buecher estate is on prime Grand Cru terroir. However, the volume is more moderate due to low yields. The domaine has been biodynamic since 1998, with the team carefully exploiting the potential of the terroirs and expressing the unique feature of each plot in a sensitive and skillful manner. The biodynamic principles go beyond farming as the domaine has also employed them in his cellar. Barmès Buecher deserves to serve as a symbol for the modern and progressive Alsace.
Barmès Buecher employs an exciting strategy when crafting their Crémant d'Alsace. In Champagne, sugar is added at three steps; the chaptalizatoin, the addition of sweet 'liqueur de tirage' and finally in the 'dosage.' But François Barmès works it the other way around; he harvests at 13% potential alcohol but stops the fermentation at around 11.7% alcohol and 22 grams/liter residual sugar. Thereafter, the second fermentation (on bottle) is started using the natural fructose, leaving enough sugar to cover up for the dosage. Brilliant!
Sadly François Barmès
was killed on October 18th, 2011 while bicycling home. Undeniably
energetic, enthusiastic, lovable and affectionate, he will remain an
inspiration for Genevieve, Sophie and Maxime. They will continue his
work, strongly committed to following in his path in the vineyards and
François strived to do
better, strived to produce the truest expression of his vineyards in
Alsace that he loved so much. One resounding observation can be made
when looking back upon his 27 vintages: he never made the same wine
One of the most significant turning pages in François' life and career was the conversion to biodynamics in 1998, ideas of which aim for a greater respect of nature. Over time he quickly became one of the leaders of this school within French viticulture; he was admired and emulated by colleagues and by friends from other vineyards in France.
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