To the west of the Alsace, the Vosges plateau and forest stretch away for scores of miles. The region’s vineyards all lie on the north-south slope that descends from the edge of that plateau to the wide plain of the Rhône. Medieval forts and battlements still perch at the top of the slope.
Among the most picturesque towns below the ramparts is Dambach-la-Ville, a walled town from the 13th century. The slopes above this town are largely granite, and particularities of the topography along the ridge divert the rains to the north and south. The result is a formula for fine, steely wine, and the Frankstein vineyard carries a Grand Cru designation. The Mersiol family owns a considerable patch of vines here, and from them turn out beautiful wines of keenly precise mineral character.
Like most winemakers, the Domaine Mersiol offers a considerable range of wines, from Riesling to Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir to Pinot Gris. There’s a Crémant, too, aged on the lees for two years before bottling.