The Brand Grand Cru of Turckheim
The name Brand, meaning land of fire, has long appeared in the town archives of Turckheim, a reminder that in its history this part of the hill was eroded by fire. Legend has it that the sun fought a dragon in this Grand Cru vineyard.
The dragon was vanquished and obliged to withdraw into a dark cavern under the Brand, responsible for the characteristic “warmth” of this terroir’s soil. The wines from Turckheim were already reputed for their quality in the Middle Ages and throughout history we find the hill of Brand cited as one the great Grand Cru vineyards of Alsace.
An old Alsatian saying states that the best wines grow in the Rangen of Thann, the Wanne of Guebwiller (Kitterlé) and in the Brand of Turckheim.
This place name (lieu-dit) lies entirely on a substratum known as the Turckheim granite. The soil is made up of granite and black mica regolith, the best provider of trace elements in the soil. A granitic soil of this type, when it is quite old, produces a soil of some depth: a silty coarse sand (arenite) which allows the roots to travel down through fissures in the bedrock.
On the part of the Brand composed of granite and two types of mica (Brand and Steinglitz), erosion and rainwater infiltration of this acidic soil favours the formation of tiny quantities of clay very rich in trace elements which accumulate in the deep fissures of this vineyard locality. As the vines get older, they push down their roots deep enough to reach these trace elements.
These vines no longer suffer from the driest microclimate in Alsace and are often linked to wines of complexity and minerality. Towards the lieu-dit Schnekelsbourg, within the Brand, one finds the soil type muschelkalk (limestone) at depth providing better hydration and minerals in an area which suffers greatly from its poor soil. The average to steep slope is oriented south and south-east.
The Brand vineyard enjoys an exceptional amount of sunshine and is sheltered from the north winds, making it a warm and precocious terroir.
The Grand Cru brand wines from Domaine Zind Humbrecht
Only Riesling is planted in our Brand vineyards, which represents a surface of approximately 2.4ha. In the Brand, this variety acquires finesse and elegance (floral and fruit aromas) without ever becoming coarse or too heavy.
The Brand always surprises by the precocity of its wines, but whilst expressive young they also have a great ability to age. The nature of this terroir makes it easy to obtain an optimal ripeness whilst retaining a fine acidity (malic acid degrades more in poor soils and warm localities).