The Confrérie Saint Etienne (St Stephen’s Brotherhood), is a mythical institution in the world of Alsace wine and one of the oldest in France. Today, in its castle of Kientzheim, just next to Riquewihr and Colmar, the brotherhood announced its program for the 12 next months. All wine lovers are eager to learn more about it. Spring is also the time of the year when the grandmaster (Grand Maître) leaves his duty and passes the torch (although here it would rather be a drink) to his successor.
Martine Becker is the new Grand Maître
For the second time in the history of the brotherhood the Grand Maître will be a lady. She will be officially in charge from March 23. Martine Becker is a well-known personality of the Alsace wine landscape, one of my favorite winemakers. With her two brothers she runs the Domaine Jean Becker in Zellenberg and produces some exquisite organic wines.
The Chapters 2018-2019
From the beginning, the Confreres (brothers) met in “chapters”, especially the day after Christmas (Saint Stephen’s day), to celebrate around the wines of Alsace.
Nowadays, every year, the Brotherhood organizes in its castle of Kientzheim but also abroad, several so-called solemn chapters, prestigious evenings beginning with a commented tasting, wine tests and the ritual admission session for the new members. The evening goes on with a gala dinner where a famous chef proposes a menu of high gastronomy showcasing the best wines of Alsace.
Dates of the chapters at the Brotherhood’s castle in Kientzheim
- March 23, 2018 – general chapter.
- June 9, 2018 – solemn chapter “Riesling of Alsace and gastronomy of the 5 continents“. Dinner with the chef Patrick Fulgraff.
- September 22, 2018 – solemn chapter ” The Brotherhood goes green“. Dinner with the chef Martine Holveck.
- October 20, 2018 – solemn chapter “Femme, femme, femmes (woman, woman, women)“. Dinner with the chef Michaela Peters.
Dates of the chapters abroad
- April 7, 2018 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
- June 15, 2018 – Dublin, Ireland
- September 27, 2018 – Cologne, Germany
- November 2018 (date to be confirmed) – Brussels, Belgium
- January 2019 (date to be confirmed) – Berlin, Germany
- February 2019(date to be confirmed) – Sweden
Wine tasting workshops
Discover the wines of Alsace of the old vintages.
Seminars on various themes with wines from the prestigious wine cellar of the brotherhood. Participation of EUR 42 per person. Those wine tasting workshops at the Saint Etienne brotherhood are really a must-do. They take place in the evening (8:00-10:00 pm) and are open to all wine lovers (no need to be a member). The maximum participants are 20 / 25 people usually.
- Thursday April 12, 2018, 8:00 pm – The incunabula, treasures of the wine cellar of the brotherhood
- Thursday May 24, 2018, 8:00 pm – Invitation to travel in the land of Alsace. Gewurztraminer vertical tasting.
- Thursday June 14, 2018, 8:00 pm – 15 shades of Grey. Pinot Gris to Tokay of Alsace.
- Thursday September 13, 2018, 8:00 pm – Terroirs of Alsace. Tasting Alsace wines originating from special vineyards, first and grand cru.
- Thursday December 13, 2018, 8:00 pm – Les Introuvables (the wines that are impossible to find): tasting of wines from wine estates that have disappeared.
“Pair them like a chef”: Food and Alsace wines
Discover local products presented by well-known chefs or their producers and pair them with the wines of Alsace. At 7:00 pm. Seminars on various themes with wines from the prestigious wine cellar of the brotherhood. Participation of EUR 50 per person. Again a must-do. They take place in the evening (7:00-10:00 pm) and are open to all wine lovers (no need to be a member). The maximum participants are 20 / 25 people usually.
- Thursday, April 5, 2018 – Alsace wines and well chosen cheeses. With Bernard Antony, a famous Maître Fromager.
- Friday, June 1, 2018 – Alsace wines and Japanese Sukiyaki culinary art. With yoko Tsuji.
- Friday, October 26, 2018 – Alsace wines and terroirs of chocolate. With Vincent Strackar, chocolatier in Kaysersberg.
- Friday, November 30, 2018 – Alsace wines and duck foie gras. With Elodie Siraud, Maison Chez Elodie, Cernay.
The conferences at the castle of the Brotherhood
- Monday, April 23, 2018, 7:00 pm – Learn everything about the new branding of Alsace wines. By Gilles Neusch, director of CIVA (Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin d’Alsace).
- Friday, November 9, 2018, 7:00 pm – How do our German neighbours perceive our Alsace wines? By Kai Littmann, journalist in Germany.
- Friday April 20, 2018 – Evening “AUF” (Open doors at the castle)
- Friday, September 7, 2018 – Jazz concert at the castle.
- Sunday, September 16, 2018 – Open doors for the public (Heritage Day)