Alsace Wine Region



Alsace is a French region situated in between the north-eastern to mid-eastern of France and it is is divided into two départements, Haut-Rhin and Bas- Rhin. Alsace is quite a popular region and one that is unique due to its Franco-Germanic history and culture. Today most resident living here speak in either French, German or Alsatian, a dialect that is a combination of French and German. Most of the town in Alsace has Germanic names while some buildings architecture is associated with Germany. Alsace boost of modern infrastructure and good economy, especially from the service sector. In the agricultural sector, Alsace is widely known for its wine vineyards. Though in the world war two the ownership of Alsace was fought for between the Germans and the France after the war France took full ownership of Alsace. After this, it made some few changes in the region most notable was the production process of wine in Alsace.

Alsace is separated from the remainder of France by the Vosges Mountains.  The mountains provide a “rain shadow” as a result Alsace is one of France’s driest and sunniest climates. Alsace soil, climatic condition and topography are conducive for growing grapes; the grapes are grown in beautiful and big vineyards. The winter, spring and quite humid weather conditions are attributed to the quality production of grapes in Alsace. Its topography is majorly known for its hills, which is where the vineyards are located. The vineyards provide a good view to the land this has attributed to Alsace being a tourist destination. The huge vineyards in Alsace stretch all the way from Than to Wissembourg. This is about 100 km long. It’s also known to grow grapes varieties that include, Chasselas and Auxerrois.These two varieties date back to the Franco-German days, and they are majorly associated with the German wine.

Alsace Wine Classification

AOC Alsace Grand Cru covers only 51 vineyards that meet strict conditions (hand picking, minimum sugar content, only varieties Gewurztraminer , Pinot Gris , Riesling and Muscat ).

AOC Alsace the most common name in the region.

Cremant d’Alsace is an appellation used to make sparkling white wine while Alsace Grand Cru is used to make sweet and dry white wine.90% of the wine from Alsace is white wine. White wine is majorly known for its low sugar levels. However, there are some sweet wines produced in Alsace from the Pinot Gris.

Within the appellations system there are  also some special types of wines:

  • Vendanges Tardives (“late harvest”): For these wines are allowed only Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat and Gewurztraminer. These wines are made from overripe grapes and have the residual sugar. Vendange Tardive wines can vary from almost dry to very sweet.
  • Sélections de Grains Nobles (“selection of noble berries”): For these wines are only Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat and Gewurztraminer allowed. It is a rare wine that can be made ​​only in good years when the grapes affected by botrytis cinerea ( noble rot ). It is intensely flavored. Similar to German Trockenbeerenauslese .
  • Edelzwicker (“noble mixture”): an inexpensive blended wine
  • Gentil:  a superior designation for blends, requiring a minimum of 50% noble grapes

Wines from Alsace are widely known for their aroma, especially their floral smell though they are acidic they offer a fine and moderate texture. This can be said to be a result of its independence when being made since no additional spices are added to it. It is purely balanced between alcohol content and grape ripeness in order to bring out its flavor.The packaging of the wines also resembles that of Germans, the long but slender bottles are associated with the Germans.

It is quite rare to find or taste the slightly sweet taste and quality in wine that has existed several decades, but the wine from Alsace has been able to give wine lovers consistency of these two things in the wine they produce. For decades now Alsace has built a reputation for producing quality wine, and these is set to continue for more years to come. So we can therefore expect to continue enjoying fine and quality wine for a long time to come thanks to Alsace regions.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Chris Parminter April 19, 2015, 7:40 am

    The Alsace region of France is certainly a beautiful part of Europe – hot summers and dry cold winters give it quite a microclimate. Historically there has been conflicts through the centuries between Germany and France for this productive region.

  • Tipes August 15, 2015, 3:56 am

    Alsace region sounds like wine heaven! Though I would have really like to learn more about how they make wine in that region, the history and facts more than made up for it however. Also after reading this I can’t help but want to ask more question. I want to know more about the process, the different type of grapes, how it affects the taste, ect. I hope you’ll write about this soon! I can’t wait to learn more.

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