DOMAINE HENRI RUPPERT
Winemaker: Henri Ruppert, Stephan Weber
Growing: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Riesling, Gewürztraminer
Region: AOC Moselle Luxembourgeoise, Luxembourg
Frequent visitors to Europe will have at least heard of Schengen, or benefitted from the visa (named after the town) allowing free access to most of Europe. Here in the far south-eastern corner of Luxembourg the Moselle River forms a dramatic border between three great nations (France, Germany, and Luxembourg).
Looking up from the middle of the river (where the Schengen Agreement was originally signed in 1985), you’ll immediately catch sight of an ultra-modern, wave-shaped building set atop a hill.
But first, back to the 1960s. Before the visa and before open borders. Henri Ruppert grew up in Schengen, where his father owned a petrol station outside of town.
The shop also offered wine ‘en vrac’ (filling bottles on demand). The combination seemed to work. So young Henri, at the encouragement of his father, began to study winemaking across the river in Germany.
Ruppert fell in love with Riesling, which would become his passion. Returning his focus to Luxembourg, he took over production of the modest family estate in 1990 and initiated a number of changes: Lower yields, stainless steel vats, a new filter, and additional vineyards.
Nowadays, the estate has expanded to nearly 20 hectares and includes an an eye-popping modern winery: constructed in 2008, that iconic hillside building serves as Henri Ruppert’s wine cellar. It’s a far cry from a petrol station.
Fun Fact: The Henri Ruppert cellar was designed by renowned Luxembourg architect François Valentiny. An outline of the building is also included on most of their labels.