Christian Binner is a revolutionary in a region that hasn't always made it easy for revolutionaries. One of the stars of the natural wine scene, Christian creates sans soufre, pét-nat, skin contact, botrytis and classic wines from Alsatian varieties Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Noir and more.
“You must feel something in a wine. If not, why use fuel to send the wines to London? Just plant Gewürztraminer in the London area. With climate change, I’m pretty sure you would be able to soon. If we decide to pollute by shipping wines around the world, it’s because we can bring something cultural to the people. It’s like sharing art. If it’s just the same as what exists next to you, just drink that; it will be better for the planet.”
People: Christian Binner
Place: Alsace, France
Varieties: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Sylvaner, Auxerrois, Pinot Gris
Hectares: 10 (6 under vine)
Farming: Biodynamic (Demeter certified)
Wines: Click here
Did You Know? Christian built his own eco-friendly cellar five years ago. He makes sure to not leave the electricity on unless absolutely necessary when working in the dark, emphasising that the wine must not be disturbed by electromagnetic fields.
Christian is a staunch supporter of the notion of terroir. Working across such drastically different soil types, elevations, mesoclimates and varieties means he gets to explore what different elements bring to the final wines. He feels each vineyard retains a certain characteristic in the wines:
“Granite is a wonderful stone. It tends to make elegant and fine wines – wines like the air or wind. And because of the cold winds coming from the valley, the acidity is very fresh in Schlossberg wines. Even when the weather is very hot, you keep that freshness. It produces austere, elegant, thinner wines: that is the definition of Schlossberg.”
He feels the combination of pure granite X Riesling in the Schlossberg cuvée heightens the element of purity. Meanwhile, the Kaefferkopf vineyard, with varied soils including more clay, is geologically more complex. He feels that field blends planted to multiple varieties here can help to produce an even more complex wine, as different soils and different varieties will each contribute to the overall conversation happening in the blend. He continues,