Size of domain:
Théo & Bruno Schloegel
Wolxheim, Alsace 🇫🇷
Wolxheim is located in the northern most part of Alsace, from gentle hills to steep slopes, limestone, granit, pink sandstone. Continental climate, protected by the Vosges mountains.
Certified organic, but practicing permaculture, aiming for truly wild vineyards (based on Fukuoka)
We met Théo Schloegel of Lissner at an obscure tasting in Ghent. His wines were like a strike of lightning, a moment of clarity during a scene of dullness. Wines with expressive salinity, showing the Alsatian Wolxheim terroir. An inspiring visit followed.
The Lissner domaine spans 9 hectares in the appellation Wolxheim, soon a completely organic appellation, pretty cool. The winemakers at this domaine, founded in 1848, are father Bruno and son Théo Schloegel. Théo is a cool, young winemaker, outspoken about his ideas and with that true rebellious spirit that you often encounter in the natural wine scene.
Bruno, an agronomist and scientist took over his uncle's Clement Lissner's domaine (since 1848) in 2001 and was soon joined by his son Théo. They work their vineyards organic, but that's really just a small part of their story. Inspired (as are we) by Fukuoka's book 'The one straw revolution' they treat their vineyards differently from what we have seen anywhere else:
"The pair have carefully established an amazingly diverse fauna and flora in their vineyards, they do not plough, mow or trim the vines but just arrange and weave the shoots during summer to let mother nature express herself. Bruno and Théo do not hesitate to plant directly into the ‘indigenous environment’, and let the new vine compete against the native flora for five to seven years before producing grapes." - The Vine Trail
Their wines are very impressive from the first whiff until the last sip: extremely energetic, often plain salty, expressive, powerful and experimental. We love them.
The domain is a force to be reckoned with in Wolxheim, often outspoken to their neighbors and true advocates of biodiversity and nature. To make sure nature can raise it's true voice, the family has built a completely new winery on the edge of town, after having been cramped in a small winery in the town for over a century. The winery has been thought out over decades and is both inspiring, awesome and state of the art at the same time. 4 different levels so that wine is only transported by gravity, an underground church like barrel room and all tools the winery needs to ensure their level of quality.
The Lissner flavor profile of highly salty, intense and powerful wines is accomplished by very long pressings (of up to 9 hours), slow fermentations and a long period on the lees. All to let the terroir, their sense of place, shine. And do these wines shine; even their Pinot Blancs can easily age for a decade. Lissner for us is thé expression of a currently well overlooked wine region: Alsace.