Nothalten – Alsace
Patrick Meyer inherited his vineyards from his mother (his father, Julien, died when he was young) and quickly began to convert them to conventional methods, spraying with pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. He had been at wine school and had been told that that was the way to do it; his mother’s methods were apparently antiquated. Within a few months he saw what he had done. What had been healthy vines with healthy ecosystems began to suffer and become less productive – his wines had less depth too.
It is rare in this world of natural wine to meet someone who has worked on the ‘dark side’. Such stigma is attached to it that people keep very quiet about these things. However, how vitally important it is to see what conventional farming methods and vinification methods do to the vines and wines we love. It gives serious perspective. Now Patrick works his vineyards according to biodynamic principles and produces some of the most expressive wines in Alsace. He is a champion of the lesser-known Sylvaner and shows what potential it has on good soils worked with care.