The news of sudden death of Laurence Faller, the female winemaker at the acclaimed Domaine Weinbach in Alsace, brought in mourning on Thursday by the France's wine world.
Faller, a 47-year-old mother of two, died from a heart attack earlier this week, Thierry Fritsch of the Alsace wine board told AFP.
"She was one of the great figures in French winemaking," Fritsch said. "She had an extraordinary precision in her technical decisions in the winemaking process.
"She made wines that were elegant and pure, with the clarity of crystal and appreciated all over the world," he added.
Laurence Faller was part of an all-female winemaking team at the estate, along with her mother Colette and sister Catherine.
Run on organic and biodynamic principles, Domaine Weinbach was first established by Capuchin monks and included parcels of land in what are considered the finest zones of Alsace.
The estate produces the full range of Alsace wines, ranging from steely Reislings to opulent late-vintage Gewurtztraminer via fragrant Pinot Noirs.