By Laurent Probst, December 20th, 2015
Our winemaker has made an explosive entrance into the wine world after serving for ten years as a special education teacher. Her passion for wine, combined with the chance to own some family vineyards, helped her to get started. It was with a small range of wines that she was quickly "spotted" by a few wine merchants, restaurants and journalists. Then the Gault & Millau guide, placed her immediately among the 100 best winemakers in the country without going through the interim step of "rookie of the year."
Her private customers (60% of her sales) also rapidly developed a passion for this woman whose laughter is powerful and communicative and whose credo is to return to a healthy agriculture, without synthetic products. She cultivates biodynamically, a method that she has followed from the beginning of her activity, i.e. eight vintages. With the 2014 vintage, it is her fifth year as an independent winemaker.
Biodynamic culture is a farming method based on natural products, to some it still controversial due to a lack of scientific basis. It takes into account elements such as the lunar cycles to administer treatments. These are issued from natural processes, such as infusions of plants, or through the biodynamisation of the soil by a fertilizer containing animal feces previously placed in cow horns, buried in the ground for several months during the winter.
Anne Müller ownes 2.5 hectares of vines, supplemented by 1.5 hectare leased from third parties, representing five plots of vines that the winemaker regards as "homogeneous".
In 2015, she joined the small circle of producers who have obtained the Demeter certificate for her vineyards and her wines. This induced sizeable changes because one can not be certified for the work in the vineyard only, the cellar must be certified too. Therefore it is now Frédéric Blanc Versvey, who manages the vinification of wines. Prior to Frederic it was Bernard Cave.
While some mock her for having a large 4x4 pick up truck, she does not care, to her it is primarily a tool, not a social status symbol. Moreover, unlike the vast majority of her colleagues, she works the soil of her vineyards, twice a year, with a horse named Cannelle (Cinnamon), rather than a tractor.
She appreciates that communion between the vegetal, the mineral and the animal. She also enjoys the social aspect brought by the presence of the horse in the vineyards. "Cannelle" (Cinnamon) attracts primarily children, but the old folks in town also.
Of her vineyards, she talks of them as if they were a person. She seeks to understand her vines, to communicate with them, even feel them, because after all, they are living organisms!
Did she observed a change in behavior of the vines during these past years? clearly yes. The resistance of the plants to disease has improved. Which does not mean that they are able to defend themselves from every disease and in all situations.
Year after year, with average yields of 650 grams per square meter, she produces between eight thousand and ten thousand bottles, or six wines made of three varieties: Chasselas (tank and concrete amphora), Pinot Noir (tank, barrel and rosé) and Gamaret.
So far she sought to produce wines for the gourmet and I believe she has succeeded since it is why her wines are appreciated. Now her next goal is to master the mysteries of vinification.