The young wine grower, Jean-Marc Schlink, is the fourth generation in the modern company “Schlink domaine viticole.”
The family firm is one of the oldest in Luxembourg’s Moselle Region: it was founded in 1911 by Jean-Pierre Hoffeld and transferred to his daughter Anne and her husband Jean Schlink in 1952. They invested in more land, a new cellar and technical facilities, so that their son René and his wife Edmé could take over a well-equipped winery in 1993.
New cellar and new wine bar
In 1991, René planted Pinot Noir and over time, invested in barrique ageing. It also didn’t take long for the innovative wine grower to turn to Crémant. Success was rapid and, over time, the new sparkling wine would be a very important mainstay for the Schlinks, like for many other wine growers.
“In the beginning, my father stored the bottles in a small cellar by the church in Machtum, but demand kept growing and the place was bursting at the seams,” describes Jean-Marc Schlink, son of René and Edmée, who completed his training in wine technology in 2012 in Bad Kreuznach, after previously studying for two years in Avize in Champagne. Since then, Jean-Marc has been fully integrated into the winery, and two years ago the business was formally signed over to him.
“My grandfather preferred dry wines that stay fresh, are full-bodied and refined”
As René Schlink was certain that his son would one day take over the business, he invested in a new cellar in 2005, situated in the Moselle wine region between Machtum and Grevenmacher. At the same time, he set up the “Deisermill” wine bar in the picturesque Moselle wine valley, an inviting wine and snack bar where the terrace has recently been redesigned and extended. Schlink wines age well, and many older wines can be tasted here.
Dry, with style and ageing potential
Investments in modern facilities is capital well spent for a company. Jean-Marc Schlink learnt a special process in Champagne, which he wanted to keep: “This new bottling station for Crémant wines allows us to insert the inner caps individually into the crown caps, making them better able to withstand the pressure,” he explains. Today the winery produces seven different sparkling wine cuvées, such as “Symphonie en Bulles,” a Crémant regularly distinguished at international competitions, most recently at Vinalies in Paris.
“Schlink domaine viticole” primarily produces quite dry wines, a style already preferred by René Schlink and continued by Jean-Marc. This style is a family thing, because “my grandfather preferred dry wines that stay fresh, are full-bodied and refined,” emphasises the young wine grower: “Our shell limestone soils give the wine a lovely minerality and straightforwardness which is particularly noticeable in the Riesling wines. However, wine mustn’t be too dry because it must remain fruity and after a few years it becomes round and smooth.”
Popular tasting packages
The Schlinks harvest their grapes in a 12.5-hectare wine-growing area between Machtum and Wormeldingen, in Ongkaf, Gëllebour, Widdem and Hohfels in Machtum, as well as Köppchen, Elterberg and Heiligenhäuschen in Wormeldingen. According to requirements, the wines are marketed under the labels “Tradition du Domaine” and “Sélection Arômes et Couleurs”. Schlink domaine viticole is also a pioneer of the Charta wine label for private wine growers and under this flag offers excellent Pinot Gris, Riesling and Pinot Noir.
The winery, along with the whole branch, suffered from the pandemic: “We had to stay in the game and come up with something to cushion the losses,” affirms Jean-Marc. The various tasting packages with six different wines and/or Crémants were really well received and are now here to stay. The very latest is the new winter package with two Crémants, one white wine, one rosé and two red wines.
Schlink domaine viticole
1, Rue de l‘Eglise — L-6841 Machtum
Tel. +352 / 75 84 68