Alsace wine

Riesling, Gewurztraimer and other wines from Alsace

The wines of Alsace are located in the northeast of France and are subjected to a strong Germanic influence. Most Alsace wines come from the Vosges mountains area and the River Rhine, this being a sunny area and the driest in all of France. In Alsace white wines are the most common, but dry and sweet wines can also be found. Among their characteristics, the wines of Alsace are notable for being aromatic, spicy and floral, leaving aside aromas of oak barrel. The most well-known wines from this production area are Rieslings followed by Gewurztraimer, Pinot Gris or Muscat.

The scenery in Alsace is spectacularly beautiful with its mountains and picturesque villages. So let’s take a tour of one of the most charming wine regions in the world.

Climate, soils and varieties of Alsace wines.

The local climate is strongly influenced by the natural barrier provided by the Vosges mountain range. This gives protection from wind and rain and makes Alsace a warmer area than it should be given its altitude. The soils are made up of granite, limestone, gneiss, schists and sandstone.

The Riesling grape is the most widely used to make Alsace wines and this region is the only place it can be cultivated in France. In general, they are fresh, dry and very mineral wines. Then we have the Gewürztraminer, which provides broad wines with notes of spices. Pinot Gris is also another common variety used for Alsace wines and combines the characteristics of the two varieties mentioned above. Some call these wines the Tokays of Alsace.

Alsace Wine Classifications.

AOC Alsace Using.
92% of the white grapes, this equates to 3/4 of the total production. They are divided into single-variety wines or blends. Single-variety for those made entirely of one grape variety and blends for coupage wines. Wines made with noble varieties are labelled Edelzwicker, noble blend, and the name Gentile is given to wines made at least 50% with noble varieties.

AOC Alsace Grand Cru.
51 plots enjoy the prestige of this classification. For this classification, they must produce yields of 55 hl / ha and be of the accepted varieties (Riesling, Gewürstraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat) with only the occasional exception. These exclusive vines grow in limestone and clay soils.

AOC Cremant d’Alsace.
Since 1976 sparkling wines have been made using the traditional champenoise method. This is the most popular sparkling wine in France and most of it is made with Pinot Blanc. Other varieties like Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay can also be found within this classification.

Vendange Tardive (VT).
This Alsace classification involves late harvests of the Gewürstraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Muscat varieties which are more ripe than normal and have been partially affected by botrytis cinerea.

Sélection des Grains Nobles (SGN).
A few weeks after optimum ripeness and affected by botrytis, these grapes create very interesting sweet wines. As its name suggests, this is a selection of noble grapes.

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Schieferkopf Lieu-Dit Buehl 2011

France AOC Alsace (Alsace)

A Riesling from the Chapoutier universe
Schieferkopf Lieu-Dit Buehl...
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Schieferkopf Lieu-Dit Berg 2015

France AOC Alsace (Alsace)

A Riesling boasting a distinctive minerality.
Schieferkopf Lieu-Dit Berg...
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