« Our family tree is always there to remind us where we come from but also where we are heading. »
The Dopff family’s History
A CITY PREDESTINED
TO THE ART OF WINEMAKING
Located at an altitude of 300 metres, the city is nestled beneath the Vosges foothills, sheltered from the North winds and West rainfalls. The exceptional soil quality, its southern exposure and a distinctive micro-climate over the upper parts of Riquewihr are responsible for a wide range of grapes and for the blooming of almond trees among the vineyards.
Riquewihr is rich in testimonies about the art of winemaking: historical cooper’s tools, old oak casks and enormous wine presses, all of it, in the courtyards and cellars, reminds you of what Riquewihr owes the vineyards from the beginning.
« Our history is a long one. Our winemaker’s roots go deep. We have been living off winemaking since 1574. » Etienne-Arnaud Dopff
Coopers, wine-brokers and
During the 17th century, Jean-Daniel Dopff, the son of a pastor, establishes in Riquewihr as a master- baker and innkeeper at the “Deer” Tavern.
His son, Balthazar-Georges, born in Riquewihr in 1667, is a master-cooper. Four generations have followed one another this way until Jean Dopff, two centuries later, establishes as a “gourmet” (sworn wine broker).
After him, his son Jean-Gustave focuses on creating the family estate. The Dopff Estate was born.
Gustave-Julien Dopff is the architect of the Estate’s extension during the first half of the 20th century. From then, with the same enthusiasm, the Dopff family members have passed on, from one generation to the next, the secrets of this divine alchemy that subtly brings terroir and grape variety together.
Back in time located in the very heart of old town Riquewihr in the “Deer Mansion”, the Dopff Estate needed to find a place to extend. So, Gustave-Julien moved out of the city walls and established in the “Au Moulin” outskirts. From 1925 on, the Estate has been rooted in this mythical place, underneath the famous and majestic Schoenenbourg, one among the 51 Alsatian Grands Crus.
« At last, it may be said that my ancestor Gustave-Julien was the one who invented Crémant d’Alsace! » Etienne-Arnaud Dopff
Julien Dopff, a pioneer dedicated to Alsatian viticulture. As an innovative personality, he discovers a pratical demonstration of the so-called “Méthode Champenoise”. He decided to apply to Alsatian wines this method that went so well with Champagne.
In 1976, urged by Pierre Dopff, AOC Crémant d’Alsace comes to life. And, what a success: 40 years later, it represents more than 50% of all Crémants put on the market.
A great result that Pierre-Etienne has continually developed at both regional level with the Appellation Crémant d’Alsace and within the Dopff Estate with the creation of our current range of products.
Dopff, inventor of the “flute”-bottle
In 1913, he strikes again with the concept of marketing “flute”-bottled wines with that elegance that still sets Alsace apart from other wines.
It has not been an easy task to fight against resistance and prove the satisfactory conservation of bottled Alsatian wines.
Julien Dopff decided to have some of them travel from Alsace to Australia back and forth. The demonstration was so brilliant that he received the highest possible distinction from the jury of the Strasbourg Exhibition: a silver medal with the mention: “for a particularly successful accomplishment”.
In 1972, the accuracy of Julien Dopff’s idea was enshrined by a decree making it mandatory to bottle Alsatian wines in their production region.
13 GENERATIONSDEDICATED TO WINEMAKING
Being wine-growers first of all, the Dopff Family advocate a highly ethical approach of their job that leads them to only produce natural wines under their name, from better grapes that have been lovingly matured according to traditional rules.
Etienne-Arnaud, an optimistic and meticulous man
In 1998, Etienne-Arnaud Dopff joins the Estate.
He continues developing the Estate with the vision and values brought to him by his ancestors: Producing the most authentic wines. Therefore, he needs to follow the Golden Rule: only come out with wines that have been vinified at the Estate, either from the Estate’s production or from contractors’ that have been meticulously selected.
« My father: Pierre-Etienne, the master builder »
He gave his family his determination to modernize and mechanize the Estate for more accuracy and efficiency
« My grandfather: Julien-Pierre, the conqueror »
He followed the Family’s ambition. His “earthy” instinct pushed him in the right direction. As no one before him, he developed the Dopff Estate.
« My great-grandfather: Gustave-Julien, a man with a vision »
A model of boldness and ambition:
It can be stated that he was the one who invented Crémant.
Lighting struck twice when he started marketing his wines in ‘fluted” bottles which is still the Alsatian Wines’ signature.