A lot has changed since chemical engineer and PhD. Etienne Sipp took over his family wine business at the age of 33. Motivated by a respect for the environment as well as the health of his vineyard workers and by a desire to full articulate the ‘truth’ of his terroirs Etienne converted his 40ha domaine to organic viticulture in 2005. Yields have been slashed to less than 40hl/ha and the historically important negociant side of the business pared back to a bare minimum. Today Etienne works with a range of almost exclusively hill slope vineyards, all within a 3km radius of his cellar in Ribeauvillé in the beating heart of the central Alsace wine region.
For Etienne the wines of Louis Sipp are characterised by ; finesse, harmony and authenticity. He achieves these aspects through meticulous attention to detail. All grapes are harvested by hand, whole bunch pressing takes place over between 6-12 hours in pneumatic press. Wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts in a traditional Alsatian oak casks or more modern stainless steel tanks. Careful battonage brings weight and texture to the wines without compromising aromatic purity or elegance.
These are wines made in the classic Alsatian style, dry, crisp and precise. They perfectly reflect the aromatic profile of the Ribeauvillé sector where food friendly, balanced wines are the norm and overly alcoholic, fat wines are frowned upon.
With much of Etienne’s production sold direct to a loyal fan base of private clients and restaurants these wines have yet to receive the international attention they so clearly deserve.