Nineteen years ago, the cousins Luc and Frank Duhr took over the family business and successfully expanded it.
Clos Mon Vieux Moulin’s story began in 1689 when the family Duhr bought a piece of land with a mill at the foot of the southern Palmberg. At the start of the 1900s the mill was retired and the Duhr family turned exclusively to winegrowing.
The modern era of the vineyard began in 1970 with the brothers Paul and Jean Duhr. As the “Duhr frères” they introduced new standards of quality and focused on innovation. In 1975 they produced the first Luxembourgish Pinot noir, and in 1988, they founded the label “Domaine et Tradition” with six vintner colleagues, the first Luxembourgish charter of quality. Today, eight different grape varieties are grown on fourteen hectares.
When in 2002 their sons Frank and Luc took over, Paul and Jean relied on the fact that the eleventh generation would continue to modernise the business through new impulses and scientific insights. Both sons had studied marketing and oenology, Luc in Strasbourg and Germany, Frank in France.
The transition was smooth. “There was no precise, pegged out plan who has to do what. Our tasks crystallised in time. Everybody had a passion for their own area of expertise and that has not changed,” Luc emphasises; he is responsible for the external operation and marketing.
Cellarer Frank is thankful to have taken over such a modern business. “We took over a wonderful customer base in the gastronomy and private customers within
the country and without. Our fathers could continue to help in the business but were relaxed to give us the responsibility. They follow the technical developments and step-by-step digitisation with enthusiasm,” Frank smiles.
Up to this day it is a special occasion for Paul and Jean when they welcome their long-standing customers onto the vineyard or personally deliver their orders. “They have our back.” Frank knows how critical that is. “The teamwork and constructive exchanges during wine and Crémant tastings are good for the soul. This familial atmosphere transfers onto a positive work environment,” says Luc happily.
Over the last twenty-five years, the business has been taken, “consequently and step by step,” into the direction of organic winegrowing. “We already replaced mineral fertiliser through organic at the beginning of the 2000s,” Luc explains. “We sowed legumes into the vineyard in order to bind nitrogen and moisture, to prevent erosion and to revitalise the soil.” The vineyard refrains from using pesticides completely, “and long before Glyphosate was officially prohibited, we abstained from it on our own initiative.” But the goal is not “to please any specific organic label.” Rather, these methods are based on “our own conviction that a sustainable way of working that supports beneficial organisms, benefits the quality of the wine. That way, the job of winegrower is also attractive for the next generations.”
As a homage to their ancestors, Luc and Frank brought a big variety called “11 générations” onto the market for the first time. “This is no definitive grape variety, but, logically, the grapes have to be of remarkable quality,” Frank insists. The label, that is only offered in excellent vintages, mirrors “the absolute best of our business,” together with the special wines based on the “vendanges tardives,” the late vintages. The vineyard possesses small wood barrels of 1,600 and 2,400 litres volume, in which “elegant new Riesling and well-rounded Pinots gris or Pinto blancs” are ripening. New barrique barrels of 225 litres are mainly used for Chardonnay and Pinot noir “èlevè en barriques,” as well as for the base wines of the Crémants “Défi.”
These prestigious Cuvées were first introduced in 2019. For the production of the “Défi” the vintners make use of their big Crémant cellar. Here, the fermentation can develop slowly. “The Défi lies for fifty months on yeast,” Luc Duhr explains, “it’s a prestige product that mirrors our passion and know-how.” The Cuvée is dosed with just under three grams of liqueur and called an “Extra Brut.” “The Défi is an extraordinarily elegant Crémant which has quickly found its place among gour- mets in the country and further afield.” Frank adds.
The Duhr family are looking forward to welcoming their customers into the new, light-filled tasting facilities, with a wonderful view onto the nature reserve Ahn Palmberg. Larger events can be expanded onto the extensive outside space.
CLOS MON VIEUX MOULIN
25, rue de Niederdonven — L-5401 Ahn
Tel. +352 / 76 07 46