Letting fate choose your wine

Accidents of fate.  Destiny.

Do you believe in fate?

I’m not a fatalist; I believe we are creators of our own destiny.  But, I do wonder at times how much of our destiny we actually create and how much is just…fated.

My bout of questioning was inspired by a recent trip to Alsace.  And by a visit to a winery.  And by some drinking, of course.

It all started in September 2008.  D and I took a mini tour of France.  This was our first real vacation together and it proved to be a stepping stone in our relationship.  It was also during this trip that we found a wine producer of our choice.

We had just visited the Chateau de Haut-Koenigsbourg and were on our way to a friend’s for dinner.  But we were early.  And it was raining.  We had no idea what to do while we waited until we saw the huge sign along the road:

Dégustation Gratuite!

Can you think of a better way to pass a rainy afternoon in Alsace?

D and I sampled pretty much everything the winery produced: Gewürztraminer, pinot gris, sylvaner…  You name it, we probably tried it.  And we enjoyed ourselves.  Of course, all that sampling made us generous and we bought 4 or 5 bottles of wine.  (As we were visiting with friends during our tour de France we figured they would make good ‘thanks for letting us stay’ gifts.)

Perhaps all that wine consumption affected us more than we thought as we didn’t keep a single bottle for ourselves.  Furthermore, we didn’t even note where in Alsace the winery was located.  We did have the name of the producer and with the help of the internet we could look them up!

After entering a few key words we found our prefered Alsace winery!

To make a long story a little shorter, let’s fast forward to 2011.  To present we have ordered wine three times over the past three years and to say that we’ve enjoyed every bottle would be an understatement.

So, on our recent trip to Mulhouse we decided to take a little trip to Orschwiller to revisit the winery and to replenish our stock of vins d’Alsace.  We  arrived in Orschwiller and to our surprise and shock the winery wasn’t there!  How could this be?  We had recently ordered from them for la mamie’s annual choucroute lunch…  Could they have moved?  Do wineries move just like that (if at all)?

We drove through Orschwiller three times.  (This is where I note that we did see signs for the winery but they pointed us to what looked like someone’s home.  and it didn’t look like anyone was home either.)  We finally did park where indicated and we took the time to mull over our next step.  Do we make like stalkers and take a look around?

D then spotted a man entering the ‘house’ from the side entrance.  We decided to follow.

By the time we had reached the door through which the man entered the house he was already waiting for us.  He opened the door and invited us inside.  We stepped in an looked around at the familiar tall bottles with the winery’s label.    Yes, this was our wine producer.

Or so we thought.

After a petite dégustation of pinot gris D asked our host if they had moved.  (Seriously, is that even possible?)  Our host slowly replied, with a little smile, “Beh, non.”  They’ve been in the same location for 20+ years.

Okay, then where on Earth did we stop for our tasting 3 years ago?

Despite this confusion we proceeded to order some more wine.  And this is the thing: we absolutely love this producer…at least as much as you can love someone because they produce a mighty fine product.  And because he loves what he does.

We had a lengthy conversation with Monsieur Alsace where he explained his passion for his wines and eaux de vie; where he explained his love for le terroir.

We left happy, of course, but the mix up left me wondering.  I’m still wondering…

Tags: , , ,

Categories: Alsace, wine, winery

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and self-fulfillment...in France!

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5 Comments on “Letting fate choose your wine”

  1. February 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM #

    Lovely chance encounter story … I’ve got to look into this place!

  2. February 23, 2011 at 10:29 PM #

    I’ll be going to Mulhouse in 2 weeks (yes, the weekend I was supposed to finally meet you)! What is the NAME of the vineyard. Did I miss something? I want to go there!

    • February 24, 2011 at 10:12 AM #

      I guess I could/should have given them a shout-out and mentioned their name in my post, huh?
      It’s Domaine Engel and they’re in Orschwiller, about 45 mins north of Mulhouse. Here’s their website: http://www.vins-engel.com/
      And truly, we had a lovely visit and chat and I’m sure we’ll be back…once our current stock runs out!

  3. February 25, 2011 at 10:05 PM #

    I love that, sometimes “killing time” yields quite lovely results in fact! Great find! See you soon chica!

    • February 27, 2011 at 9:43 PM #

      I know. Life is lovely that way, isn’t it?
      And yes, looking forward to another afternoon in Paris! A bientôt!

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