The Grand Cru Rangen named one of the world’s greatest vineyards

The southernmost vineyards of the Alsatian Grands Crus recognized by the English wine journal Decanter!

Wolfberger found to our surprise the Grand Cru Rangen of Thann, one of the region’s flagship vineyards, honored to be named among the 12 greatest vineyards in the world by the English wine journal Decanter at the end of 2022. The article provides visibility for this impressive parcel of high, steep slopes, still too-little known, on which the winery works 4.5 hectares.



“Appearing in the ranking of the world’s 12 greatest vineyards, among which are found Musigny and Montrachet in Burgundy and Pétrus in Bordeaux, is both an honor and an immense source of pride. But it is equally proof of the exceptional, unique terroir that we are fortunate to treasure in Alsace. Alsatian wines, particularly the Grand Cru Rangen, have every right to be proud of themselves – and we are the guardians of the incredible wine-growing heritage whose reputation and quality of wine should spread far beyond our borders.”

Hervé SCHWENDENMANN, President-winegrower of the famous Alsace Grand Cru.


The southernmost of the Alsatian Grands Crus

From the old German meaning “slope,” the Rangen vineyards are perched on an extremely steep south-facing gradient with the rows of vines planted at a near-vertical incline. Such vertiginous terrain has the fruit receiving maximum sunlight, with the two sides of the grape bunches exposed simultaneously all day long. The volcanic rock soil, unique in Alsace, also plays a primordial role by drinking up the heat of the day to send it back out again at night – a good ally to compensate for the cool nights.

In fact, the near-vertical incline of the terrain makes the rainwater flow downwards, thus avoiding any water stress for the vines and assuring a concentration of the grape berries over time. The composition of the soil lets the roots of the vines draw deeply from a subsoil rich in minerals. Thanks to the full southern exposure they can take advantage of the refreshing winds that eliminate any humidity. Situated at high altitude, the slopes range up to 68% in steepness, which explains why the grape harvest, or the vendanges, is done by abseiling or rappelling.

With its sunny, volcanic terroir the southernmost of the Alsace Grands Crus produces elegant, fresh wines with beautiful aromatic richness and is offered in two varietals: the Grand Cru Rangen Riesling and the Grand Cru Rangen Pinot Gris.



“All our grape harvests are done by hand, with the workers harnessed for rappelling or abseiling. While there are usually three people in winter and five in summer to work the Rangen, there are no fewer than 30 pickers who gather to harvest the grapes! It’s gigantic, the work needed for the Rangen compared to the more traditional Grands Crus. The Rangen is one of the most demanding of all the Grands Crus in Alsace, with its difficult terrain requiring painstaking attention. And even if the coolness delivered by the river Thur allows a slower maturing of the grapes, it also generates a lot of humidity which calls for mindful care all year long. The precision required along with the specific characteristics of the site take me as much time as all my other 16 hectares of vineyards!”

Hervé SCHWENDENMANN, President-winegrower of the famous Alsace Grand Cru.


An extremely rare terroir but equally astonishing when it comes to the grape harvests. With a near-vertical incline, the vendanges are done by hand with the pickers abseiling or rappelling with ropes coiled around their bodies, sportsmen and women who are provided with “luges” specially adapted for carrying the palox, the containers used to gather the harvested grapes.



A perfect companion to a cellar with wines from this extraordinary ground, Wolfberger offers fine epicureans and the most curious a unique gustatory taste trip through the vintages of the Pinot Gris Grand Cru Rangen with this vertical tasting box set.

Containing explanatory factsheets and tasting notes, the box set offers a sensational occasion, completely out of the ordinary, that allows you to discover all the nuances of the Pinot Gris Grand Cru Rangen year after year. It’s the moment to gift yourself a sensory experience based on this emblematic Alsatian terroir.

Alsace Rocks: Tour of the Terroirs

Summer tourist idea: For an even more immersive trip in these awesome vineyards, Wolfberger and its co-workers will accompany the public on Sunday, July 9 2023, for a regional event celebrating the 70 years of the Alsace Wine Road. Entertainment and explanations by specialists as well as other discoveries both original and geological will make the day even more special.

Known throughout the world for its exceptional itinerary and the simplicity of its route, the Alsace Wine Road makes discovering the region and its winegrowers easy. It’s an enchanting route for meandering the hills and dales of the Alsace vineyards from north to south.



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