Wed 14 May 2014

Remembering Laurence Faller

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Laurence Faller, one of the most talented winemakers in Alsace, has died quite suddenly following a heart attack at the ridiculously young age of 47, leaving two small children.

Laurence Faller

Laurence Faller

She was the daughter of Théo and Colette Faller of Domaine Weinbach, one of the best-known estates in Alsace. Her father died in 1979 leaving Colette and her older sister Cathy to run it. Laurence attended all the best schools, studying chemistry and enology before joining the family firm in 1993 and gradually taking over responsibility over winemaking and vineyard management, while her sister travelled the world over selling these extraordinary wines with their equally distinctive labels.

From 1998, she began converting the 75 acres of vineyard to biodynamic farming, convinced that this was the way to produce top quality. With every passing vintage, Laurence Faller was able to make wines of uncanny precision and elegance with a quality of fruit of great purity.

At Domaine Weinbach, everything is carefully etched out: steely rieslings, ethereal muscat, sumptuous pinot gris and luscious, sensuous gewurztraminers. ‘Cristallin’ was a favourite word in tasting notes, and achieving a sense of clarity in her wines was a principal aim.

Laurence Faller will be remembered by those many members who were fortunate enough to visit the estate, not least by members of The Wine Society’s Dinning Club. And of course, she will be remembered for the pleasure she gave us in her wonderful wines. One of the estate’s top gewurztraminers, Cuvée Laurence, is appropriately named after her.

Marcel Orford-Williams
Society Buyer for Alsace

Comments

  1. Desperately sad news. Thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues. She made such beautiful wines.

  2. John McErlean says:

    My own father died at 48 so I can appreciate the tragedy this is for her family. My deepest sympathies go out to them.

  3. William Cowan says:

    We met the Faller ladies decades ago just as Laurence took over the wine making.
    Ultra French chic in the heart of Alsace! They treated us to a wonderful introduction to their wines and we were permitted to come away with treasure trove. Today we opened a bottle of the 2007 Cuvee Laurence Gewurztraminer to pay our respects to a talented wine maker and the great name of Faller.

  4. henry kwok says:

    I have never met the family Faller, but i have always enjoyed their superlatively made wines,especially their pinot gris.
    It is a sad day indeed when we are deprived of such a skilful winemaker!
    My condolences to the family

  5. Keith Norman says:

    Its so sad to hear about Laurence Faller, i and two friends just a few weeks back from Alace and she made super wines, my regards to the family.

  6. David Theaker says:

    It is, for me, a matter of some regret that I never met Laurence. Some years ago I wrote to Madame Faller explaining that we would be on holiday in Alsace and asking if we might call. A charming letter inviting us to call came back and we duly met Madame. She was very much the ‘Grande Dame’ but the tasting was delightful, nor did Madame turn a hair when our dozen and a half wines were made up of one of ‘this wine’ and two of ‘that wine.’
    At the Glasgow tasting last autumn I met Catherine before the tasting and chatted briefly before the proceedings began in a rather chilly hall. My regards to Mother and Daughter/Sister.

    May Laurence Rest in Peace: thank-you Laurence for your skill and the lovely wines you made.

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