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History of Rouge d’Ottrott: the village speciality

Ottrott, an adorable village hidden amongst the hills and slopes at the foot of the Sainte Odile Mointain, is also a privileged “terroir”, that of a culture of Red Wine with "Appellation Village Controlée". This means that in Ottrott the most important grape variety is Pinot Noir.

Rouge d’Ottrott has had an extremely long history. Its origin dates back to 1109. At that time, the Benedictines of St. Leonard from Burgundy brought young vines in wooden barrels filled with Burgundian soil. After settling in on the hill south of Steinberg in a number of so-called “floors” made with stones found locally, they cultivated young vines and made red wine. This was between 1109 and 1130.

In the year 1180, Emperor Karl Friedrich donated the "Ottenroth" vines to the Abbey of Etival. According to Pope Alexander IV, from the year 1257 Karl Hohenburg is in possession of these "Ottenroth" vines. A decree dated March 23 1340 dealt with the vines in Ottrott on the Hugensberg alongside Wardwege, Mittelbuhel and Erlebach. The winery continued to expand over the years and centuries and reached 46 ha in 1899.

In 1955, there were 40 hectares of vines for the production of 2550 hl of wine. Nowadays the Ottrott vineyard spans thirty hectares and our famous Rouge d’Ottrott is well-known far beyond the borders.

THE TERROIR

Soil: The first part of the vineyard mainly consists of slightly gravelly sandy clay loam (with some siliceous pebbles), becoming brown beige silty clay and sand and turning into sandy clay, gray-orange-black deeper in the ground. Presence of black ferro-manganic concretions from the depth of 50 cm accompanied by oxidation of ocher and rust stains trailing off. The Vosges sandstone turns to scree at the centre. A small enclave located in the North East has a higher proportion of clay (30-50 cm).

The second part of the vinyard is characterised by the presence of sandy loam, brown, slightly gravelly (5% pebbles from the Vosges sandstone) becoming sandy loam with beige-pink-orange sand laying on the Vosges sandstone towards 80-100 cm.

ROUGE D’OTTROTT AND ITS VINYARD

The main part of the vineyard is located to the East of the village, with gentle South-East facing slopes (3-5%) and at an altitude of 260 m. This area is surrounded by a motorway and some local roads.

The second part of the vineyard is spread to the North of the village on moderate slopes (10-15%). It faces south-south-east and rises to 300 m. The area is geometrically homogeneous and well structured around the village. The vineyards are nestled at the foot of the Sainte Odile mountain and are therefore protected from the winds.

The Ottrott vineyard is not in close proximity to any other part of the AOC Alsace.