Le Musée du Vignoble et des Vins d'Alsace KIENTZHEIM - 68

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On 22 September 1974, the constitutional meeting of the Association des Amis du Musée du Vignoble et des Vins d'Alsace (Association of Friends of the Alsatian vineyards and wine museum) was held in the Chapter house of the Confrérie St Etienne at Kientzheim. This group of friends with a common interest in the history of wine-growing, set up the association in order to create a museum to the glory of Alsatian wine.

Unlike other French wine-growing regions, Alsace did not yet have its own wine museum. Certainly, many of the regional museums preserve and present objects and tools, for instance the beautiful Unterlinden museum in Colmar or the Alsatian museum in Strasbourg, but our region lacked a complete presentation of the wine-grower's art, and its associated professions (barrel-making and glass-making).


The Confrérie St Etienne allowed the association to use the dependent buildings attached to the castle it had recently acquired, free of charge. Located in an ideal setting in the centre of the Alsatian wine-growing area, we simply had to consolidate our project. With the help of the founder-Chairman, Théo Faller, our ideas soon became reality. Work on the layout began in 1978.

The initial small group was soon joined by several organisations which financed the operation: the Haut-Rhin branch of the "Caisse Régionale du Crédit Agricole" bank, the "Union Régionale des Caisses d'Epargne d'Alsace and de Moselle" (association of savings banks in the Alsace and Moselle regions) and the "Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d'Alsace" (Interprofessional council for Alsatian wines) represented the main wine-growing families.
André Hugel succeeded Théo Faller, who died prematurely in 1979, and directed the work to completion.

It only remained to furnish the museum. Initially, several people lent various objects and tools so that the museum was able to open at the end of June 1980. Then donations and loans flowed in from all of the region, filling out the collections.
At the same time as our generous donors or lenders were coming forward, others proved their attachment to the history of the vineyard by joining the friends of the museum association. From these modest beginnings, the museum continued to acquire objects and tools. Finally, on 26 June 1981, a year after our opening, it was officially inaugurated by Marcel Rudloff, Chairman of the Regional Council of Alsace.


What do visitors see when they stroll through the 300 m² occupied by the museum?

The ground floor is entirely devoted to large objects. An old cellar has been simulated, with barrels of various dimensions (8 to 35 hl) and a range of tools used in cellar work (vats, wine jars, taps).

The ground floor is also big enough to hold the masterpieces in the form of 2 wine presses from 1640 and 1716. At the same time, a harvesting vehicle with its baskets and tubs gives visitors a better idea of what is involved in grape harvesting. The wine trade is represented by a 3 barrel transporter.

A small mobile wine-press reminds us that vines were everywhere, even in cereal-growing parts of the region. A portable still dating from the 1930s also illustrates the importance of distillation in the old days.


The first floor is mainly devoted to the wine-grower's work and associated professions. Hoes, picks, ploughs and planters are among the many objects used by wine-growers during their work among the vines.

The barrel-making trade, closely linked to wine-growing, is represented by a complete set of items, most of which were provided by the barrel maker J.B. Mandres of Ammerschwihr.

Glass-making is not forgotten and glasses, jugs and bottles reveal their evolution over the centuries. The wine trade, so important in former times, is also mentioned. Several wine lists and documents illustrate the different routes of exportation used for our vintages in both western and eastern Europe.

A 16mn video will take you along the alsatian wine route, soils and grape varieties.

The second floor of the museum is devoted to the more technical aspects of wine-growing. Most objects date from the end of the 19 th century or the early 20 th . A series of wine pumps, the oldest going back to 1885, show visitors how these have evolved over the past 90 years. The same applies to vine sprayers and sulfurators.

Regarding the fight against cryptogamic diseases, particularly phylloxera, a series of printed documents and photographs give a relatively complete account of the methods used to combat these in former times. .

Cellar work has not been forgotten. Filters, pulling machines, corking and capping machines represent this aspect of the work during the first half of the 20 th century.

This wine museum is intended to cover the whole region. It hopes to reach and inform the entire wine-growing profession as well as wine lovers from Thann to Wissembourg. It intends to pay tribute from our generation to the many Alsatian wine-growers who have worked so hard to earn our region's excellent reputation.

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