A wine estate’s story that includes multiple generations is always intriguing for me. The history of how a wine estate evolves, passing down aspirations from one generation to the next, is for many dream-worthy.
Catherine Faller of Domaine Weinbach is a third-generation proprietor leading her family’s estate and continuing to pursue the aspirations and dreams of her grandfather and parents before her.
This month the French Winophiles celebrate Women’s History Month by featuring “France’s Women in Wine.” Join us on Twitter Saturday, March 19th, 2022, at 11:00 AM ET for our chat. (follow along using hashtag #winophiles). Don’t miss reading about more French Women in Wine from my fellow French Winophiles at the end of this article.
History of Domaine Weinbach
Domaine Weinbach lies in the Alsace wine growing region of Northeastern France. The estate is in Kientzheim near Kayseberg at the foot of the distinguished Schlossberg hill. (see the map below) Domaine Weinbach takes its name from the small stream that runs through the property (“wine stream”).
- Vineyard plantings date back to the 9th C, but the Capuchin monks established a winery in 1612.
- Following the French Revolution, the estate was sold as national property to the Faller brothers in 1898.
- Théo Faller would inherit the winery from his father and uncle. Along with his wife, Colette, Theo grew the property from 12 acres to 70 acres. Théo was passionate about the unique terroirs and a proponent for Alsace’s recognition as an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) founded in 1962.
- When Théo passed away in 1979, the Domaine was left to his wife, Colette, who managed the estate along with her two daughters, Catherine and Laurence Faller.
After Théo died in 1979, Colette took over the reins of managing the Domaine. She was one of the first women in France at the time to head a prominent wine estate. Catherine would join in overseeing marketing and sales. After completing her enology studies in the early 1990s, Laurence would become the winemaker.
The trio continued to focus on producing top-quality wines. In 1998 they initiated organic and biodynamic farming methods in the vineyards. As of the 2005 vintage, all the estate vineyards are farmed biodynamically. In 2010, Domaine Weinbach received organic and biodynamic certification.
Tragically, Laurence died suddenly in 2014 at the age of 47. Colette’s passing would follow in 2015 at the age of 86.
Today, Catherine Faller and her two sons, Théo and Eddy, continue to lead their family’s wine estate with a passion for excellence.
My Tasting and Food Pairing Notes
2019 Domaine Weinbach Pinot Blanc, Vin D’Alsace
12.8% abv | $30.00 Total Wines | 70% Pinot Auxerrois & 30% Pinot Blanc
Pale straw in color with aromas of lime, apricot, and white blossoms. On the palate well balanced with medium body, acidity, and alcohol. An elegant wine with bright acidity balanced with a smooth midpalate texture. Lingering flavors of lime and apricot.
Food Pairings: The perfect aperitif, brunch, lunch, or picnic wine. Pair the wine with clean flavors like light composed salads with a matching acidity level in the dressing, light seafood like; cod, halibut, and sole, and light, fresh egg dishes.
2019 Domaine Weinbach, Vin D’Alsace
13.8% abv | $35.00 Total Wines | 100% Riesling
Medium-straw in color with aromas of apricot, lime, mango, and ginger. On the palate, medium body, medium(-) acidity, and medium (+) alcohol. The wine shows expressive juicy concentrated flavors of ripe apricot, lime, mango, and notes of minerality. A long lingering finish.
Food Pairings: Fruit salad with a honey and lime dressing, charcuterie, goat cheese, curries, exotically spiced dishes, shellfish like lobster, shrimp, and crab.
My Food Pairing – Spring Salad of Chicken, Asparagus, Peas, and Radishes with a Dill and Mint Dressing
Spring Salad of Chicken, Asparagus, Peas, and Radishes with a Dill and Mint Dressing
For the Salad
- 2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1½ lb. boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 4 oz radishes, sliced thinly
- 1 cup petit peas, frozen
- 16 medium thick green asparagus spears, halved lengthwise
For the Dressing
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup fruity-style extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 + tablespoon dill, chopped + extra sprigs for garnish
- 1/2 + tablespoon mint leaves, chopped + extra leaves for garnish
- sea salt flakes
- Put enough chicken broth into a large sauté pan to cover the chicken breasts(amount of broth will depend on the size of your chicken breasts). Bring the the broth to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, add the chicken breasts. Poach for 15-20 minutes of until cooked through.
- Make the dressing by combining the lime juice and mustard into a small/medium bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil, salt, pepper, cream and herbs. Set aside.
- Steam the asparagus spears for about 5 minutes. Remove and spread the spears out to cool. Add the frozen peas and steam for 2-3 minutes. Remove the peas and cool.
- Cut the chicken breasts diagonally into thin slices. In a medium bowl, toss the peas, radishes, and asparagus with half of the dressing.
- To Serve: Divide the vegetables between 4 plates. Place the chicken slices on top and spoon the rest of the dressing on top. Garnish each plate with dill sprigs and mint leaves.
More “French Women in Wine” from my fellow French Winophiles –
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm is sipping Domaine de Marcoux Lirac La Lorentine to Celebrate Women’s History Month.
- Jeff of Food Wine Click! invites us to Celebrate French Women in Wine: Anne-Sophie Dubois
- Jane of Always Ravenous talks about Women Behind the Wine: Domaine Weinbach, Catherine Faller.
- Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog is sharing Champagne Louise Brison: A Tradition of Women in Charge.
- Robin of Crushed Grape Chronicles opened Delphine Vesselle and Domaine Jean Vesselle Rosé de Saignée, Brut from Bouzy.
- Deanna of Wineivore discovered A Mathilde Chapoutier Rose for $4?
- Linda of My Full Wine Glass found Château Larrivet Haut-Brion: A place for women in traditional Bordeaux.
- Nicole of Somm’s Table shares Cotillon Rouge and Rilletes.
- Susannah of Avvinare introduces Arnelle Cruse, A Look at the Cru Bourgeois.
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is sharing A Medieval French Peasant Dish and French Winemaker Sisters.
- Terri of Our Good Life writes Here’s to France’s Women in Wine and to Rebecca Rosenberg’s Book Champagne Widow.
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator paired Champalou Fille’s 2020 Vouvray with French Favorites.