Westhalten and its Vineyards
At the entrance to the “Noble Valley”, nestling between the “Strangenberg”, “Bollenberg” and “Zinnkoepflé” hills, Westhalten’s vineyards stretch over their flanks.
These three hills are unique in Europe.
After the last Ice Age, around 8000 years ago, Alsace experienced a hot dry period. The Rhine lands were home to Mediterranean fauna and flora. Insects, reptiles, orchids, bladder senna (colutea arborescens) and burning bush (fraxinella) spread throughout the entire region. A thousand years later, however, a new climatic upheaval took place, killing off these sensitive species. In the Rhine forests, they found only one refuge where they were able to survive - the foothills of the Vosges in the Rouffach region, with their exceptionally hot, dry climate (one can almost hear the noise of cicadas there!).). This succession of wild plant-life has managed to stay alive until today on the arid heaths of Bollenberg, Strangenberg, Zinnkoepflé and Bickenberg, making it unique in Europe. This is an authentic living relict of the past, going back several centuries. The many rare species that make up this ecosystem bear witness to the exceptional dimension of this protected site within our natural heritage.
In addition to this, its advantageous position affords a unique panorama across the Alsace Plain and the Swiss Alps.
The Zinnkoepflé was already celebrated by our pagan sun-worshipping ancestors (which is where its name comes from) and has, since then, always been mentioned in the top Alsatian exhibitions, thereby consolidating its reputation. It is the highest vineyard in Alsace (440 m), providing good Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminer wines, and is an excellent source of Sylvaner... Westhalten also has a second great vintage, which it shares with Rouffach - Vorburg.