The Wines of Alsace

By December 22, 2010Wine

When you think of France many things come to mind including chateaux, cathedrals, snow-capped mountains, fields of lavender, and wine. Alsace is a region known for its colorful buildings, charming towns nestled in between the Vogues Mountains and Rhine River, but this region is known most popularly for its impeccable wine.  The

Alsace is a region known for its colorful buildings, charming towns nestled between the Vosges Mountains and Rhine River, but this region is known most popularly for its impeccable wine.  The Alsace Wine Route which stretches along 170 km from North to South with over 50 Grand Crus appellations, is one of the most enjoyable places to cycle through in France. Grab your bike and get acquainted with the different classification of appellations and types of wine!

Alsace landscape

Great White and Sparkling Wines

Alsace wines, which have a heavy German influence since the region is located on the German border, are produced under three different Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), which are AOC Alsace, AOC Alsace Grand Cru, and AOC Crémant d’Alsace. The AOC Alsace represents 74% of the region’s wine production.

AOC Grand Cru has to meet many specific criteria including a defined vineyard location between 200 and 300 m altitude. The wine has to come from a single named vineyard and the name of the vineyard must be listed on the label. Grand Crus of Alsace, because of these specific qualifications, represent only 4% of the regions total wine production.

The AOC Crémant d’Alsace is developed from secondary fermentation and considered the most desirable of sparkling wines. It makes up 22% of Alsace wine production.

Alsace produces primarily white wines. There are a handful of grape varieties to try but the most noteworthy are Tokay-Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and Muscat. The Tokay-Pinot Gris has a lovely golden-yellow color to it and tastes slightly sweet with a spicy richness. Similar is the full-bodied Gewurztraminer with its intense yellow color. Gewurztraminers possess an exceptional richness and extraordinary aromatic complexity. The Muscat, on the other hand, is dry and is said to taste like you are biting into a grape.

vin alsace

What is great wine without great food?

Alsace offers delectable meals to accompany the different tastes of their wines. The Riesling wine goes

Alsace offers delectable meals to pair the different tastes of its wines. The Riesling wine goes perfectly well with Alsace’s traditional Choucroute or with fish and shellfish. The special Baeckeoffe would not be complete without a nice glass of Pinot Gris. The Pinot Noir, one of the few red wines produced in Alsace, goes superbly with fruits such as berries or less sweet chocolate desserts. Your mouth will be pleased with every meal.

baeckeoffe

The Pinot Noir, one of the few red wines produced in Alsace, goes superbly with fruits such as berries or less sweet chocolate desserts.

Discover France’s Alsace Biking Tours give you the chance to explore the Alsatian wines and gastronomy. Ride your bike along the Rhine River visiting the different appellations. The flat terrain is perfect for novice riders! Travelers will not be disappointed with the gastronomy, wines, and scenery of Alsace.
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