THE HISTORY, TERROIRS AND WINES OF ALSACE
Pfaff, from yesterday to today
More than elsewhere, the cooperative spirit in Alsace was developed very early at the beginning of the 20th century. A hardworking population overcame its internal differences and joined forces in view of securing its future. This mentality germinated less quickly in Pfaffenheim in relation to other winegrowing villages. But this strong desire to succeed motivated many old-timers who worked to reach their objective, that of creating a winemaking cellar in their village. This was not a particularly easy thing to do. However on the 28th of March 1955, Cave des vignerons de Pfaffenheim created its first board of directors. Over 50 members banded together. The cellar was officially created in 1957 and harvested its first grapes in 1959. Around 2,000 hl were made from a surface area of 40 ha.
This first step kicked off a great adventure for the winery that was trying to find its way in an indecisive winegrowing context. A couple of years after the initiative of Pfaffenheim, another cellar was established in the nearby village of Gueberschwihr.
Its first board of directors was set up on the 3rd of January 1960. The cellar's activity started at the end of 1960. All of the members were extremely attached to their production facilities. But they became quite rapidly too small in relation to the growers' ambitions. Indeed, the entire vineyard of Alsace felt the need to join forces at a higher level. Production costs had to be well mastered to remain competitive in a fairly tormented market.
Undeterred, Cave Vinicole de Gueberschwihr worked courageously for a dozen years. This period allowed the entity to ensure a certain cohesion between all of its members. Indeed, they fully understood that their survival and that of their facilities depended upon a spirit of openness.
As a result, discussions began in view of joining forces with the neighboring cellar of Pfaffenheim.
The idea of a merger between the two cooperatives was born, despite the natural difficulties. Both of the cellars had their very own personality. After a period of discussion and negotiations, the merger became effective in 1968. From 40 hectares when the cellar was established in 1957, the surface area under vine evolved, thereby reaching 182 hectares in 1987, 230 hectares in 1997 and more than 270 hectares in 2013.