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Alsace wine matriarch Colette Faller dies

Colette Faller, who rose to prominence as head of well-known Alsace winery Domaine Weinbach in Kaysersberg, has died aged 86.

Colette Faller. Image credit: Francis Demange / Getty / Gamma-Rapho

Colette Faller‘s death was announced on 9 February. The news comes less than a year after the wine trade was shocked by the death of one of Colette’s daughters, winemaker Laurence Faller, aged just 47.

In 1979, following the untimely demise of her husband Theo, Colette Faller took over the running of Domaine Weinbach, set among the vineyards and rose beds of the walled Clos des Capucins, with views across to the famous Schlossberg slope.

She was joined in the role by her daughters Catherine and Laurence, and latterly by Catherine’s son, Theo. Tragedy struck in May 2014 when Laurence died suddenly at the age of 47, leaving a young family.

Domaine Weinbach has always been famous for its warm welcome, with or without an appointment, on weekdays or weekends.

Sommeliers, wine merchants, chefs, wine writers, students of wine or buyers looking to refurbish their cellars with the estate’s celebrated Riesling, Gewurztraminer or the even rarer Muscat,would turn up at the door and be received by Colette in person and ushered into the wood-panelled front room of the house.

If the front room got too busy, visitors would be shown through to the kitchen and treated to a tasting at the huge oak refectory table, surrounded by burnished copper pots and presided over by an ancient wood-fired stove.

Thierry Meyer, Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chair for Alsace, paid tribute to Colette’s professionalism, hard work and generous spirit and acknowledged her role in positioning the domaine as a leading winery in the world.

‘Life will go on at Domaine Weinbach, building on the solid foundation of Colette’s fantastic heritage,’ he told Decanter.com.

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Written by Sue Style

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