The UK's only specialist in wines from around the Alps

It started with a "why aren't these wines everywhere?"

I was told the regions aren't important enough. 

And Alpine is not a theme

Oh yeah? hold my glass...

I'd been working on the media side of the wine trade, complaining that nobody talked about the wines I grew up on. Most people didn't know them!

So in 2012, on a well reasoned impulse I took over Nick Dobson Wines and turned it into Alpine Wines.

The plan was to create a business that could be successful at smallish scale, agile, clever and balancing trade and direct sales.

It meant outsource the logistics and do everything else ourselves from home. Even the website is all done in house (that's why it's got so many unfinished corners).

It's not always fun. But it's worth it.

Behind the forms, the email, the social media feeds and the phone number, there's a tiny team of 3 with a rather stubborn focus on quality, personality and craftsmanship.

It means we can't always do everything but we try hard to do the important things well.

Glad you're joining our tribe.

What's so special about the Alps?

The Alps are a paradise for vines.

First, there's a ridiculous diversity of soils as rocks were churned by the rising of the alps, then ground back down in different ways.

Then the climate might seem extreme but the valleys are sheltered, nowadays possibly the best wine growing climate anywhere in Europe!

There's even spaces the dreaded phylloxera didn't reach.

Combined with the legendary stubbornness of mountain people it means much was preserved for us to rediscover today.

The Alps are a paradise for visitors.

The Alpine regions have their own distinctive culture.

Things feel familiar from Slovenia to the Bavarian Alps, from Vienna to the Provence Alps, or between Aosta and Gruyère. After all those borders moved often and you had more in common with the next valley over than the far away capital city.

There is shared history, culture and languages, through the influence of the Celts and the Romans, the Valser migrations, the Habsburgs, the Savoy, the Swiss and Burgundy. 

There's shared food, share vines and wines, shared stories and legends. 

It all fits together over history and geography

Once you start exploring it's very rewarding.

Heroic terroir

Terroir is the union of people and land over generations creating magic in a place.  In the Alps we have a very difficult terrain which forces people to extraordinary efforts. This resulted in extraordinary terroirs.

The soil was made by the Alps, the climate is created by the Alps, and stubborn generations built those vineyards year by year, rock by rock.

In the mountains, people were left alone more, history passed through and people could hang on to things. It's why there are so many odd traditions remain and also why so many lost grape varieties were rediscovered in the Alps. 

Faced with the intimidating terrain of the mountains, human scale is the only way to make wine. Machines often can't handle it, only people. 

Here cutting corners often makes little sense and ecology comes as an evidence.

It makes for very special wines indeed.

Fantastic Producers

Our winemakers are small, usually families. 

They're not a number to squeeze, they're people we like and respect.

I've chosen them, obviously, for the quality of their wines. But also because they are thoughtful.

They want their landscape to thrive for centuries to come. 

They would like their grandchildren to be able to live from winemaking, should they wish to. 

They want their wines to create memorable moments for people around the world.

They make different choices each - organic, sustainable, biodynamic, natural - but they all think deeply about the choices they make, and keep questioning.

It makes for better wines and fantastic company.

I want them to keep making fantastic wines in beautiful places for us and our children after us to keep enjoying.

And once you've tasted those wines, so will you.


Wine is a miracle.

Some of us geek out on it. We like to accumulate knowledge far and wide, analyse it, dive into the details and the texture of wine, the history, the who's who, the big names, the unknown magicians. It's fascinating and there's so much to discover.

I for example love a wine full of texture and minerality that keeps telling a story on the palate. I also love the history of it all, how people moved with vines across the world, full of wrong ideas and still made wine into what it is today.

But it's first and foremost a miracle.

Fruit and yeast and bacteria producing joy.

A fragile one, which we can only try to create once a year!

Wine is made to connect people, made for eating drinking and being merry. Moments of silence, deep conversations and philosophical musings too.

When we eat and drink together, we are reminded that we all have more in common than we think.

So don't worry how to pronounce it, just open a bottle and enjoy.


There's a reason the business is called Alpine Wines and not Joelle's wines - but still, a short bio.

Swiss born Joelle Nebbe-Mornod (hi!) I grew up near Lausanne Switzerland.

Not really knowing what I wanted, I became a physicist and have a Masters in theoretical physics from the ETH Lausanne, Switzerland.

In in 1995 I fell into the burgeoning field of the World Wide Web, involved in pioneering online projects in Switzerland, France, Germany and the UK - from newspaper groups to ecommerce to search engines, back when those things were new. In 2000, emigrated to the UK to put a newspaper group online. 2002 founded an agency. 2006 CTO at Nexus Business Media. If you care, for more, there's linkedin :)

2012, Alpine Wines

Go discover these special regions and fantastic producers. They are worth the time and the climb.

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