Getaway in the vineyards of Alsace
At the foot of the Vosges, on 0 km, extends one of the smallest vineyards of France, at least for what is the size. Because from its 15 500 hectares of vineyards, Alsace produces a rich variety of wines. If the dry white wines are typical of the Alsatian vineyard, we tasted their sides of the white wines, soft and sweet, sparkling wine, and a few pink wines and red wines. Their finesse and elegance have made the reputation of the region, which boasts of having launched the first tourist wine route of France. More than two million visitors, lovers of wine, typical villages and landscapes of exception, her travel each year. It's your turn to provide a getaway in Alsace, in the heart of the vineyard.
General presentation of the Alsatian vineyards
The vineyards of Alsace spans throughout the region, through its two departments, the lower Rhine to the North and the upper Rhine in the South. Wissembourg, on the German border, to Leimbach, near Thann, are 0 km of vineyards that stretch between the Vosges and the Rhine plain.
On that strip of 1, 5-3 km wide, the vineyards of Alsace offers a great diversity of terroirs. In the low mountains, on the hills under or plain, it allows the culture of different grape varieties, which most iconic are riesling, gewurztraminer and sylvaner.
The region also has the most advantageous climate conditions. Protected by the Vosges, it is distinguished by a low rainfall and hot summers.
The Alsatian varietals
Alsatian wines have to be monocepages very often. That's why mention it their label usually to the side of the name of the owner or / and brand. A domain is an exception to this practice: the Marcel Deiss domain. He favors the wines in 'here', technical who is mixing different varieties within the same plot and same terroir.
Grapes are therefore at the heart of the Alsace wine. The best-known are:
- Riesling: this is the Alsatian grape by excellence. It allows to produce dry, semi-dry white wines, as well as late harvest.
- Gewürztraminer: it is originally of white wines in character (aromas of lychee, rose...) with generally more residual sugars, as well as late harvest.
- Sylvaner: it is used for white wines to the varied characters.
These three varieties are added:
- White pinot, also called klevner
- The pinot Grigio, formerly called tokay in Alsace, which is more authorized
- Pinot noir, the only pink/red grape of the region
- Muscats: white small grain muscat, muscat rose to small grains and muscat Ottonel
- The auxerrois
- Chardonnay, only used for Crémant d'Alsace
The wines of Alsace
You can tell in their bottles to the slender lines, these "flutes" which are synonymous with Alsatian wines. They all benefit from an AOC and are necessarily bottled in their region of production. Whites largely predominate, but there are references in red and pink. Here are some tips for choosing your next few Alsace wines:
- White pinot, Riesling, sylvaner and muscat, for white wines
- Edelzwicker (or zwicker) and nice for nice white wines of Assembly
- Pinot Grigio, and gewurztraminer for intense white wines
- "Late harvest" and "selection of grapes" references indicate soft and sweet white wines
- Red and rosé wines are sometimes light, sometimes powerful: pinot noir rose and pinot black red
- Crémant d'Alsace is an available in white or pink sparkling wine
Three appellations punctuate the vineyards of Alsace, which is originally more of 630 different wines:
- Alsace wines: they constitute the vast majority of Alsatian wines. The grape is mentioned on the label, as well as the brand, and, sometimes, the name of the municipality or of the place where it is produced. The edelzwicker is also part of this name, although it is a blended wine and not mentioned.
- The Grands crus of Alsace: they are 51 to be cultivated on the slopes of the Vosges according to very strict rules of production. Only seven grape varieties are authorized: riesling, gewurztraminer, pinot grey, muscats and sylvaner. The vintage is indicated on the label, usually alongside the name of the grape variety and the locality/village. Include Zotzenberg, Altenber or Kaefferkopf.
- The crémants d'Alsace: these sparkling wines represent more than 20%of the Alsatian production. They are manufactured according to the traditional champenoise method.
Two mentions enrich the Alsatian wine production:
- Late harvest: the grapes is harvested at its optimal maturation for a sweet wine, powerful, rich in alcohol and sugar.
- Selection of grapes: grapes affected by noble rot, what happens during the hot summers. Sweet wines that have a strong aromatic power.