Jean Ginglinger

Jean Ginglinger is a producer of natural wines who is based in the central Alsace village of Pfaffenheim which lies 12 kilometres south of Colmar where he cares for 6.5 hectares of prime sites including two Grand Cru vineyards (Steinert and Zinnkoepfle). The family are not recent arrivals having been involved in viticulture here since 1610!!!

Chez Ginglinger

The entrance to the Ginglinger winery

The soil here is complex being a mix of limestone of various types including calcareous sandstone. The photo below shows an outcrop of complex limestone in one of Jean’s vineyards.

Limestone outcrop Alsace

Complex rock types in Jean’s vineyard

The domaine was converted to biodynamic viticulture in 1997. Jean achieved Ecocert organic certification in 1999 and then, in 2001, biodynamic certification with Demeter. For the past couple of years they have abandoned mechanised vehicles and reverted to horses to do much of the work in the vineyards.

Importantly, since 2003 when they vinified their Pinot Noir Steiner without sulphites they have pursued this ideal for all of their wines and currently 12 out of their 20 cuvees have no added sulphites.

Jean and old press

Jean in his winery

They produce wines from the seven standard white grape varieties of Alsace namely Sylvaner, Riesling, Muscat d’Alsace, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminer as well as Pinot Noir. He also produces a fine Cremant d’Alsace using Auxerrois Blanc and Pinot Blanc.

Jean is a quiet, humble and passionate man who wants to produce pure wines that reflect the terroir of his very special vineyards.

We mentioned above that Jean has approximately one third of his vines in two vineyards (Steinert and Zinnkoepfle) which are classified as Grand Cru vineyards. He does not, however, submit his wines for Grand Cru classification as the tasting panel has a preference for sweeter-style wines and wines that contain sulphites. Jean likes dryer-style wines and does not want to add sulphites, so he drops the “t” from Steinert for the cuvee names to emphasise that it is not rated as a Grand Cru. So we took a photo of Jean in the Steinert vineyard and also dropped the T from the photo.

Steinert vineyard sign

Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Riesling Reserve 2017


This is a dry and almost delicate white wine with hints of stonefruits and an intense minerality derived from the healthy soils which have heaps of microbial activity that allows the absorption by the vines of the elements in the mineral-rich soil.

We are very impressed with the texture, the core of restrained acidity and fruit flavour exhibited by this wine.

This is a very good wine at a very good price for such quality.


Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Sylvaner Reserve 2017

Ginglinger Sylvaner 2016

The production of Sylvaner in Alsace almost halved between 1958 and 2006 in favour of Riesling, however since 2006 it has undergone a revival as some young winemakers, including Jean have started making exemplary wines using this grape. Sylvaner was also recognised as a quality grape by the French INAO which created two Grand Cru appellations based on Sylvaner.

Jean’s vineyards are in the south of Alsace where it is recognised that the best Sylvaner comes from. This wine is well worth a try to savour the flavours of this truly interesting grape variety.

Jean describes this wine as thirst-quenching and lively and we can but agree. He also says that it matches well with seafood and salads.

RRP: $45

Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Bihl 2017

Ginglinger Bihl 2017

This beautiful wine is a blend of Riesling and Sylvaner from the Bihl lieu-dit where the vines are between 35 and 45 years old and benefit from the calcareous soils here. This is a great vineyard that has a complex geology giving rise to the pronounced minerality derived from the soil. If you look at the label closely you will see Jean examining a rock with his magnifying glass!

This is a long, lingering wine of considerable charm which is perfect for sipping on the balcony or accompanying a meal.

RRP: $58

Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Muscat 2017


This complex and charming wine is made from three varieties of Muscat that thrive on calcareous soils. The varieties are Muscat Ottonel, Muscat d’Alsace Rose and Muscat d’Alsace. Muscat Ottonel was created in 1852 by crossing Chasselas with Muscat. It is particularly suited to the Alsace region. Muscat d’Alsace Rose is a pink variety of Muscat which is quite rare but Jean is lucky enough to have a small plot of this variety. Muscat d’Alsace is the local name for Muscat à Petit Grains which is widely planted in the Languedoc and Roussillon and probably came originally from Greece via Italy.

This wine is a stunner. If you haven’t tried a complex Muscat then this is one that you will find to be a beautiful companion to a wide range of foods.

RRP: $45

Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Pinot Blanc 2017

A pure, tense, energetic Pinot Blanc that we first tried at the annual festival at Chassignolles in the Auvergne. Jean was showing his wines to visitors to the festival and was a talking point amongst the wine cognoscenti present.
Pinot Blanc is widely planted in the Alsace as well as in Champagne, Lorraine and Burgundy where it is valued for the minerality and acidity that it provides.

This Pinot Blanc is very food friendly and can be matched to a wide variety of dishes. Last year this wine sold out very quickly and we expect the same this year as it is a beautiful drink and great value at this price.


Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Riesling Lerchenberg 2017

An amazing wine of depth and precision with great floral aromas for this cult wine. This is a Riesling from the Lerchenberg vineyard that has been gently oxidised to give it a unique flavour and amazing tension. The Lerchenberg (the hill of the larks) vineyard is south facing on a moderate slope just a few kilometres north-west of the town of Colmar. The minerality in the wine comes from soils composed of clay, limestone sand and a marl substrate.
And this year there is yet another surprise with this wine. As you will see from the word “infusion” clearly displayed on the label there is a little something extra. Jean wrapped some Gewurztraminer in a cheese cloth and lowered it into the Riesling (just like a large tea bag) and let it macerate in the juice. This has added an extra dimension to this already complex wine this year.

This wine is perfect with spicy foods.


Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Gewurztraminer 2017

This is a beautiful Gewurztraminer from Jean Ginglinger. It is crisp while also being powerful and rounded. It has a beautiful aromas which are fruity, floral and spicy. It has length and it has elegance. It is a wine that will match beautifully with food that is spicy or chilli-influenced including south-east Asian, Indian or Mexican.We thought that last year’s vintage was outstanding, but we think that the 2017 is even better!


Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Pinot Gris 2017


This Pinot Gris from Jean Ginglinger is a great example of the Pinot Gris variety with enhanced minerality from the biodynamic practices used by Jean.

This is a particularly fine wine reminding us more of an Italian wine made from Pinot Grigio with its beautiful texture and long, lingering effect on the palate.

The acidity is restrained allowing the fruit flavours to shine through.


Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Riesling Steiner Zinnkoepfle 


This wine is an elegant, powerful Riesling with grapes sourced from both the Steinert vineyard and the Zinnkoepfle vineyard which lies in a beautiful valley just over the hill from Steinert. The Steinert vineyard lies about 8 kilometres south of the town of Colmar and is one of the highest vineyards in Alsace and benefits from southern exposure.

Both of the vineyards are Grand Cru vineyards so the grapes are of outstanding quality, however Jean does not submit his wines to the appellation authorities because they have a preference for wines with quite a lot of residual sugar which does not appeal to Jean who has a preference for dry wines.

The characteristic of wines made from grapes of this vineyard is the amazing length at the finish. It simply lingers for ages.

The texture of this wine is also characteristic of Jean’s winemaking prowess. A beautiful wine of power and elegance.


Domaine Jean Ginglinger Changala 2016

We were delighted when Changala arrived recently. It is a white pet nat made from Pinot Blanc and Pinot Auxerrois.
It has a very fine bead and it has been disgorged which makes it clear in the bottle.


We love the flavour of this wine and the lingering finish. It is a perfect wine to enjoy as an aperitif or you could match it with a wide variety of foods.

The are no sulphites added to this wine at any time.


Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Pinot Gris Macération 2016


The juice for this wine was left in contact with the skins for a short time to produce what is technically an orange wine. However, because it is Pinot Gris the colour has become a lovely deep pink. There is a slight bitterness at the finish giving it a herbal quality. This is a wonderful food wine which is quite different to the plethora of other orange wines.

This is a wonderful application of skin maceration producing a wine that is perfect to drink right through a meal. It also stands up to hot and spicy foods really well.


Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Gewurztraminer Maceration 2017

This is another maceration (orange) wine released by Jean Ginglinger for only the second time this year. We are very keen on macerated Alsace grape varieties and this wine is no exception. It is long on flavour and very good as a food wine.


Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Pinot Gris Steiner 2015


The vines from which this wine is made are from the area called Steinert which is a Grand Cru area. Jean, however, does not apply for Grand Cru status because he doesn’t like the level of residual sugar required for this appellation. 

In this case it is Pinot Gris that has been used to makes this incredibly interesting and complex wine which finished much drier than most wines produced here.

As always with this amazing vineyard the finish on the wine is very, very long. The flavour and the texture of the wine lingers for ages.


Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Gewurztraminer Steiner 2016

The vines from which this wine is made are from the area called Steinert which is a Grand Cru area. Jean, however, does not apply for Grand Cru status because he doesn’t like the level of residual sugar required for this appellation. 

This is a classic Gewurztraminer with power and elegance and the most amazing aroma. We only have tiny quantities of this wine.


Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Pinot Noir KS 2017

Pinot Noir KS 2017 is actually a non-conforming blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris which makes it a lighter style of drink than a straight Pinot Noir from this area. If you haven’t tried a Pinot Noir from the Alsace region then you should do yourself a favour because they are often very good and quite often exemplary. We only have a very small allocation of this beautiful wine this vintage so you need to order early.

Note that this wine is also labelled as Pinot Noir KS in Europe so you might have seen Instagrams of it under that name. The wine in this bottle is identical. The name reflects the fact that the grapes come from two lieu-dit (named places or vineyards), one called Kopfacker (K) and the other Stein (S).


Jean Ginglinger Vin d’Alsace Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir 2017 is 100% Pinot Noir, a melange from all Jean’s vineyards because the size of the harvest in 2017 was relatively small. This is a beautiful, elegant Pinot Noir that is well worth trying. If you haven’t tried a Pinot Noir from the Alsace region then you should do yourself a favour because they are often very good and quite often exemplary.