Vignoble du Rêveur is a pretty young domain that was founded in 2013 in Bennwihr, Alsace, by Mathieu Deiss. This passionate producer now makes some really good wines, proof perhaps of some inherited talent mixed with all the enthusiasm of youthful enterprise. One of the region’s rising stars.
Mathieu Deiss is the owner of the Vignoble du Rêveur in Bennwihr, Alsace, where he cultivates seven hectares of vines on an alluvial terroir. Does this name ring any bells? Well, Mathieu is part of the newest generation descending from the famous Domaine Marcel Deiss, one of Alsace’s most coveted properties! Mathieu recognises the importance of this heritage in the development of his passion and his career, but it’s clear that this young wine grower has the full intention of forging his own path. Without straying too far from the Deiss way that he knows and loves, Mathieu seeks to build his own viticultural identity with a distinct philosophy. Today, he runs the domain with his partner Emmanuelle Milan, and together they are committed to producing top quality biodynamic and natural wines. They explain how “much like at Domaine Marcel Deiss, we’ve chosen not to accentuate any particular grape, but rather the texture, consistency, depth, and minerality of the wine.”
As the name suggests – ‘rêveur’ being the French word for ‘dreamer’ – Mathieu considers his domain to be a place of experimentation in both viticulture and vinification. The domain belonged to his uncle, but Mathieu launched his own project there in 2013, turning it into a kind of living laboratory where he could work more freely. This idea of creative freedom has always been of central importance to the Deiss family, and it is a mission of theirs to keep it close to their work. But how does this generational idea manifest in Mathieu’s work?
The terroirs of the Alsace region give rise to some singular expressions in their resulting wines. The pebbly soil in which Riesling and Pinot Noir vines grow are perfect in the production of wines with striking freshness. The vines at this domain are 45 to 50 years old, on average.
Mathieu also grows his plants organically and biodynamically, with a few cuvées still in the process of being converted. This is a way of accentuating a relationship with the earth whilst building a ‘cleaner’ future for the domain. But this producer is thinking bigger than this for his projects. He wants to master the maceration techniques needed to make orange wine from his white grapes, and the ‘Singulier’ cuvée is his first attempt at this. Vinification takes place in foudre containers, with no corrective elements or external yeasts, and the wine is usually matured for about a year on lees. Mathieu also produces orange wine, and these are vinified in amphora containers, another innovation that goes to show how he will not rest on his laurels. Most of his cuvées are produced without added sulphites and are thus natural.
At the same time, it is interesting to see how Mathieu Deiss doesn’t place individual methods at the heart of his philosophy. He sees each of these steps as simple tools to produce the finest possible wines. These are undoubtedly key elements in the success of his cuvées, but to work organically is to create something authentic, it is not a gauge of quality in itself. With this open and independent spirit, it is no surprise that Mathieu Deiss comes across as an outstanding and refreshing figure in the world of wine. And this is a character reflected in his beautiful wines, all of which we whole-heartedly recommend.