Wine producers and critics have paid tribute to Alsace winemaker Laurence Faller, who has died of a suspected heart attack aged 47.
Laurence Faller was highly respected among her peers. Image: Vineyard Brands
News of Faller’s death broke yesterday (13 May), prompting an outpouring of grief for the winemaker and mother-of-two on social media.
‘Desperately sad news,’ tweeted the UK-based Wine Society. ‘So young. Truly shocking,’ said Jancis Robinson MW.
Faller spent most of her life immersed in the wine business, having growing up at Domaine Weinbach that was acquired by the Faller family in 1898.
Her father Theo was credited with significantly enhancing the winery’s reputation following the Second World War, and was a prominent supporter of the Alsace AOC, founded in 1962.
Following his death in 1979, Laurence’s mother, Collette, took the reins at Weinbach. In time, both Laurence and her sister, Catherine, came to take responsibility for winemaking and sales respectively.
It was after this point that Laurence gained recognition among her peers, as well as among wine drinkers, as one of the foremost winemakers in Alsace.
Regional trade body Vins d’Alsace this week called on wine lovers to spare a thought for Faller, while many winemakers spoke of their respect for Faller’s talent.
‘She made some extraordinary wines,’ tweeted Jeremy Seysses, co-proprietor of Domaine Dujac in Burgundy, who admiteed that he once had a ‘schoolboy crush’ on Faller.
Decanter publishing director Sarah Kemp also paid tribute to Faller. ‘Laurence was one of the world’s most gifted winemakers and one of the women I most admired in the wine industry,’ she said.
Written by Chris Mercer