He didn't want to become a winegrower, but he found love for the profession by helping his father. Guy Krier is one of these families of winegrowers who have succeeded each other for several centuries and we can say that he has come a long way! Beginning with the 3.5 hectares of family vines, it is through hard work and self-sacrifice that his estate today extends over almost 14 hectares.
A glance at the past...
Guy first started in the vineyard in 1988, still preferring at this stage to let the patriarch run the cellar. Then, year after year, the vineyard grows, at the rate of half a hectare per year. The historic cellar became too small over time, Guy bought in 1993 an old cellar of Hellange-Gare dating from 1926, and renovated it with the means at hand because the building was in a disastrous state. Already in debt for having bought a new pneumatic press, a stainless steel vat room, a tractor and new vines, the whole family will be called upon to carry out regular work. It was not until 1999 that he finally made his first harvest, the cellar finally becoming operational. For six years, between the purchase and the move, the Krier family straddled the old family cellar of Mondorf, where wines were made, and the new cellar of Ellange-Gare, where the wines were labeled and stored. .
... and in the vineyards
In 2007, when Gaby and Guy's daughter showed the tip of her nose, a reflection was also born at the Domaine: how to act more responsibly, in order to leave a cleaner planet and a good environment for the next generation? Guy then concentrated on 1.3 hectares of Pinot Gris plot that he owned in the Naumberg and that no longer works at all. And, under the advice of a wine consultant working with the Privatwënzer, he then began a series of tests. No more herbicide used, mechanical weeding between the vines. Use of composts, certified organic. Monitoring of the air supply in the soil for a « breathable » floor. From a treatment point of view, there is no more « systemic » product that would enter the sap of the plant. After two short years… the miracle happens! The vine produces again and is doing wonderfully. It is on these tests that he finds the motivation to continue this transition and his entire Estate thus passes into Organic farming. An agriculture which consists in the reuse of old methods, but with the know-how of today. For Guy: « Quality begins in the vineyard, not in the cellar »
Today, there is Pinot at Domaine Krier-Welbes! Located at Wellenstein, at Bech-Maacher, at Remerschen and at Schwebsange, there are of course Pinot Gris vines (at least 2.5 hectares), but also Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. There are also Auxerrois, and Riesling (a traditional from Luxembourg Moselle) for the production of single-varietal terroir wines, as is the tradition among private Moselle winegrowers. But there is also Chardonnay, of course. Indispensable for the elaboration of the Domaine's prestigious Crémants, because they represent between 35 to 40% of the production of the winery. Guy has been producing it for 25 years now. His Cuvée “le Castel” is made up of Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois and his prestige Cuvée “Julie” (very fine) is made up of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
The Domaine's favorite wine
To close this focus, we stop on Guy's favorite wine: « a Pinot Gris from Charta Luxembourg. In the 2018 vintage, it is a great vintage with exceptional maturity. The Pinot Gris grape variety has, by default, a skin with a purplish tint. An exacerbated color in the "ripe" years which gives wines very dense in color, with golden yellows with coppery reflections. On the nose, there is mirabelle plum, notes of candied grapes, slightly toasted notes, but it is above all the quince that stands out. Long on the palate, it is a very gastronomic wine. As a lobster lover, my favorite dish would be a lobster fricassee with a nice glass of Pinot Gris Charta 2018. »
Cellaring time: 10 years in the cellar from the year of production. Notice to amateurs ...