Barmès Buecher Facebook
Barmès Buecher YouTube
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 vinification.
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 twice.
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.
Wine Advocate 10/2015
"Are you looking for the purest and most authentic expression of terroir, vintage and grape variety in wine, even if exactly this might be really challenging for you? Then check out the wines of Barmes-Buecher, or better, check them out twice, because these are no charming wines when young but at least very honest and promising. Since vintage 2012, the young Maxim Barmès – studied in Rouffach and Beaune, and with practical experiences in the Languedoc and the family estate – is responsible for the wines of the 16.5 hectares domaine in Wettolsheim. He is supported by his sister Sophie and his mother Geneviève as well as a team of eight workers. His first two vintages were anything but easy, yet brought a range of deep and precise as well as elegant and finesse-full terroir wines -- an excellent start for the second generation of BB.
The family cultivates a total of "70 or 80 plots" in different villages, mostly located in steep hillsides, including three Grand Cru sites: Steingrubler (in Wettolsheim), Hengst (Wintzenheim) and Pfersigberg (Eguisheim). Add the potential premier cru sites Rosenberg, Leimental, and – at 400 meters altitude and surrounded by forrest – Clos Sand (all Wettolsheim), as well as the Herrenweg in Turckheim, and you have a wide range of highly interesting and diverse terroirs with corresponding wines. These are made of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Blanc, Muscat and Sylvaner. Since most of the vineyards are planted in high density (5,500 vines per hectare up to 7,000 for the Gewurztraminer Rosenberg, and actually 8,300 vines for the Riesling Clos Sand), but also in order to respect the soil and the plot, a lot of vineyard work is done by hand and by horse. Also, own machines have been developed; for example a quad, because it is much lighter than a tractor and does not thicken the soil when the teas or any other compounds are brought out."