Gantenbein Pinot Noir
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Founded in 1982, Gantenbein is widely considered to be one of the best wine estates in Switzerland. It is located in the Graubünden (Grisons) district of the upper Rhine valley in eastern Switzerland, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places on Earth. Not far from here, high up in the Alps, the Rhine begins its long journey to the Atlantic. At the foot of the Alps, in the small village of Fläsch, is the gravity-flow winery of Daniel and Martha Gantenbein; a marvel of design simplicity, ingenuity and mechanical precision.
Daniel and Martha Gantenbein do all of the vineyard and cellar work themselves, by hand. Together, they farm six hectares (15 acres) of vineyards, about 500 meters above sea level on the scree slopes of the northern Alps. Most of the vineyards (about 12.5 acres) are planted densely with Pinot Noir clones from Burgundy. The rest is planted with Chardonnay, as well as a tiny parcel of Riesling, planted with vines sourced from the Mosel.
Challenging weather conditions in early 2020 caused a very poor flowering and fruit set. As the small crop of fruit developed, a pair of light hail storms caused damage to many individual grapes, which had to be painstakingly removed by hand, leading to the smallest harvest ever at Gantenbein. But overall through the growing season, the weather was never too dry nor too wet, allowing for a long, slow ripening period. The grapes were small, but intensely aromatic and concentrated, producing a wine with an extraordinary balance of power and minerality.
Gantenbein Pinot Noir is carefully harvested by hand and fermented in custom-built, open-top wood fermenters with indigenous yeast. Maturation is done in new Tronçais oak barriques, and the wines are bottled without filtration or fining.
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