There are very few estates in France that have the historical and iconic significance of Maison F.E. Trimbach in the Alsace village of Ribeauvillé.
The Trimbach’s have a purist vision of their role in the wine world. Across 13 generations, the family has produced wines that are structured, long-lived, fruity, elegant and balanced: the celebrated Trimbach style. Bottles remain in the cellar for several years before reaching the marketplace, ensuring the wines are both ready to drink upon release but also hold great ageing potential. For three centuries, the Trimbach Family has been promoting Alsace—its history, its exceptional terroirs and its fine wines. Maison Trimbach maintains its historic location in Ribeauvillé and is still owned by the two grandsons of Frédéric Théodore, the 11th generation in Bernard and Hubert.
The viticultural origin of the Trimbach family dates back to 1626, when Jean Trimbach was recognized as a citizen of Riquewihr in Alsace. From then on, the Trimbach’s were renowned for their winegrowing. Maison Trimbach’s vineyards are all situated in villages around Ribeauvillé (Ribeauvillé, Hunawihr, Bergheim, Rorschwihr, Riquewihr and Mittelwihr). They benefit from the unique Alsatian microclimate, thanks to the protection of the Vosges Mountains, which preserves the vineyard landscape from the rain. The vineyards were planted on the Ribeauvillé fault line that fractured 50 million years ago between the Vosges Mountain range and the Black Forest, offering a mosaic of terroirs including the complex calcareous limestone and bio-degraded seashell fossils called “Muschelkalk”.
Today, the day-to-day operations of Maison Trimbach are conducted by 12th generation brothers Pierre, who runs the viticulture and winemaking, and Jean, who is in charge of global marketing and sales. Additionally, 13th generation member Julien (Jean’s son) is apprenticing in the cellar and Anne (Pierre’s daughter) has grown more responsible for global sales.
The story of why Maison Trimbach is so iconic can be tied to specific wines that represent two of the top white wines produced in the world – Riesling Clos Ste Hune and Riesling Cuvée Frederic Emile.
Clos Ste Hune is a 1.68 hectare historic vineyard in the Rosacker Grand Cru belonging to the Trimbach family for over two centuries, with the first vintage being in 1919. Before 1919, Clos Ste Hune was sold as “Riesling Hunawihr”, which you can see on labels dating back to 1865. It was in 1919 that Frederic Trimbach and his son Frederic Emile recognized the incredible terroir of this site and decided to name the wine Clos Ste Hune. The on average 50-year-old vines are planted on cool Calcareous soil including the famed “Muschelkalk”, with a gentle incline and a high percentage of limestone. This allows this Riesling to develop a specific aroma with a wonderful concentration of fruits and minerality. This is a wine that develops incredibly over time and in the best vintages can age for decades.
With the 1967 vintage, Cuvée Frédéric Émile, the signature wine of the Trimbach family was created. Prior to this vintage, the wine was coming from the same plots but called “Riesling Grande Reserve”. As Grande Reserve was no longer allowed on the label, the family dedicated this bottling to Frederic Emile Trimbach. Handpicked as late as possible from the two grand cru sites of Geisberg and Osterberg in order to achieve maximum ripeness, which in turn, gives optimal depth of flavor and complexity. This is also a wine that can age for years to come and is the complement to the Clos Ste Hune wine.
Over the last decade, the Trimbach family has acquired parcels in other Grand Cru sites that they have started to vinify as individual bottlings including Grand Cru Geisberg and Schlossberg. Additionally, they have become well-known for their stunning Gewürztraminer ‘Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre’ and Pinot Gris ‘Réserve Personnelle’.
The Trimbach family continues to gain notoriety with collectors and trade around the world for some of the most world’s iconic examples of Riesling and other Alsatian noble varietals.