Why Alpine Wines?
No fads, just the good stuff. Real Mountains, Good People, Great Wine.
Alpine Wines are the UK's importer, distributor and merchant for wines from the Alpine region. We make available in the UK wines from the Alpine regions at the heart of Europe. We try to share our delight in these wines, the people, the places and the culture they come from.
Our thing is terroir-driven heroic wines from the mountain valleys and along the major rivers from the Alps, the Rhone, Rhine and Danube.
This is personal. The business is human powered and we seem to attract interesting people of similar passion and curiosity - including, I suspect, you.
Whether you are searching for wines you know, or wines to discover; whether you're buying a special bottle for an anniversary, a case to thank friends, or a mountain of wine for a wedding; whether you buy once a year or twice a month, or only ever come to events: we want you in our Alpine tribe.
We're here if you need help or advice. Behind the forms, the email, or the phone number, there's only a small number of people. A tiny team with a rather uncompromising focus on quality, personality and craftsmanship. Joëlle, Robb and Ben in Idle, West Yorkshire, Sarah pitching in on administration from Kent, Johanna in Switzerland on social media and local tastings, Flo and Michelle from the Leeds University Wine Society helping with tastings and events.
Wine connects people around the table and across the world, connects people to the past and the future, across generations. When we eat and drink together, we get reminded that we all have more in common than we think.
For centuries wine has been a miracle to humankind, preserving calories, safer than water, full of exhuberant flavours when flavours were few and far between, and of course, bringing merriment. It's still a miracle today.
The Alpine regions of Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Slovenia share much in culture and lifestyle - often more than with their own countries' flatlands. We recognise traditions, expressions and foods across borders. Many things - people too! - feel familiar from Slovenia to the Bavarian Alps, from Vienna to the foothills of the Provence Alps.
We - born here or come here - have the mountains, lakes and rivers in our bones, in our traditions, in our legends, dreams and fears, in our food and -last but not least- in our wine. We shared history, through the influence of the Habsburgs, the Savoy, the Swiss and Burgundy. And we shared vines!
Terroir: People and Places are not interchangeable
Terroir is the word used when the union of people and place over generations has created magic that can only happen in a particular place.
Here, you can't ignore the landscape. Our weather starts and stops at the Alps, our soil was made by glaciers, our culture developed along the trade routes through and around the Alps.
Faced with the immense majesty of our land, human scale is the only way to make wine and has been for two thousand years. There are no shortcuts.It's not cheap, but it's worth it.
Heroic: There are no shortcuts
Our producers are small, usually family producers, working in locations requiring heroic labour.
They work with ancient and new varieties, classics as well as some of the rarest grapes in the world. They also have fun and make wines that interest them.
There is care, passion and work in these bottles that is considered absurd by modern standards of efficiency and profitability, so many different wines produced with so much work for such small quantities!
The results are why you are here: wines of the highest quality, incredibly interesting and respectful of their environment, culture and history.
Swiss born Joelle Nebbe-Mornod grew up near Lausanne Switzerland.Joelle is a physicist and has a Masters in theoretical physics from the ETH Lausanne, Switzerland, but in 1995 she fell into the burgeoning field of the World Wide Web. Joelle has been involved in pioneering online projects in Switzerland, France, Germany and the UK, before taking over Nick Dobson Wines and launching Alpine Wines.
Alpine Wines is a labour of love - working within a niche, with small producers and direct contact to customers, working at the pace of winemaking and seasons, working with something real and deeply embedded into social life and culture. For Joelle, wine and the culture and land around the wines, are essential and timeless parts of life. Wine connects producers and wine lovers all over the world, and connects us around the table. Wine connects people to nature, to the cycle of the seasons, to past and future, stretching across generations. and it is deliciously interesting too!
Joelle shares her life with husband Robb (who increasingly helps with the business) and portuguese water dogs Ziro and Pippi Longstocking (now gone but not forgotten).