Wines of Alsace Kuehn
Established in 1675 by the noble and ancient Kuehn family, winegrowers in the small village of Ammerschwihr near Colmar, this estate has a storied history. Domaine Kuehn is mainly known for its "Caves de l'Enfer", or "cellar of hell", which was built seven metres below ground in the second half of the 17th century by Baron Jean-Jacques de Schiele. The baron dug Alsace's deepest cellar because he wanted an ideal place in which to raise Ammerschwihr's best wines in oak casks.
Domaine Kuehn – a property steeped in history
It was within the cellar's vaulted walls that some of the local population took refuge during the terrible bombardments of the Second World War. Kindly fed and consoled by host Madame Kuehn, the villagers at least knew they would be safe underground from the threat of air strikes.
Domaine Kuehn owns as many as 45 oak casks made over a century ago, of which the oldest dates back to 1850. These marvellous vessels are cleaned with water and no shortage of elbow grease (chemical detergents are taboo) – an approach that underscores how serious and committed the property is to producing delicious, long-lasting, top-quality wines. However, the domaine also has a more modern cellar housing a collection of temperature-controlled stainless steel vats.
Resident winemaker and veritable conductor of operations Francis Klee works with a range of grape varieties to deliver exquisite, singular wines that reflect the local terroir. His patience and dedication are the quintessence of Domaine Kuehn, as is the environmentally responsible manner in which he farms the estate.
Klee, who has worked at Domaine Kuehn since he was very young, loves the outdoors. He enjoys walking in the mountains and making new discoveries. Bitten by the wine bug at an early age, he is the face of the property – and always keen to recount the secrets of the Caves de l'Enfer to anyone who will listen.
Domaine Kuehn sources its grapes from the vineyards above Ammerschwihr, producing wines that have an aromatic richness born of the varied local soils and bedrock.
The "Gewurztraminer Inspiration Terroirs" and Pinot Gris bottlings – not to mention the Crémant d'Alsace Baron de Schiele – epitomise the authenticity, complexity and impeccable quality that underpin the Kuehn philosophy.