The Rietsch family has been based in Mittelbergheim since the 17th century, and since that time has been involved in vine-related professions, from cooperage to viticulture.
In the early 1970s, Pierre and Doris Rietsch created the estate that bears their name by transforming their polyculture into a wine-only business.
The estate is now managed by Jean-Pierre Rietsch and his wife Sophie, assisted by Pierre-Etienne Grieshaber. The estate works in partnership with La Main Verte , an adapted company whose teams participate in manual work in the vineyards, from pruning to trellising. Although retired from the farm, Pierre Rietsch remains present throughout the year and continues to contribute to the various tasks.
Since 2008, the entire estate was converted to organic farming. Weed, soil tillage and sowing of green manures are used as well as allowing the native flora and fauna to freely exist, which creates a balanced environment that promotes the expression of the terroir.
Over the same time, their approach has become increasingly involved in the production of natural wines. Behind this name, which is still not regulated by any legislation, their practice is simple: it follows the most respectful approach possible to the vine and the earth, which are worked without pesticides, without weed killers, fertilizers, insecticides and synthetic antifungals, and vine growing without the input of any input.
This approach first requires trusting the raw material. It requires, at all stages of wine aging, great attention to the winemaking process. The air resistance is tested before bottling to ensure that the wine can withstand time.
Less tense than sulphited wines, their natural wines are fluid, balanced and relaxed. Their perception in the mouth is particularly sensual and fleshy. Some tasters talk about their particular "drinkability": they are gourmet wines, of great purity of palate and taste, which is their main goal.
Rietsch is also experimenting with new winemaking processes, mainly in two directions: the production of macerated wines (orange wines) and the production of a perpetual wine.
For some cuvées, they let the grapes macerate in the juice in order to extract the skin colors and tannins. This process gives structure to aromatic wines, such as muscats, pinot gris or gewürztraminer, which sometimes lack acidity and are traditionally vinified into semi-dry or mellow wines. The maceration helps to stabilize the wines naturally and modifies their aromatic register and taste, renewing the perception that one can have of these grape varieties.
They also elaborate a perpetual vintage, by assembling old vintages with juices from the last harvest, with a view to combining the vivacity and freshness of the wine of the year with farmed juices with a taste already laid down and more complex.