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Alsace

Alsace is a historic land with noble wines. The Wine Route runs across a series of undulating hills, through delightful and dainty villages with narrow streets of flower-decked, half timbered houses, clustered around their church steeples. The wine history dates back pre-Middle Ages, where the wines of Alsace were amongst the most highly prized in all of Europe. And why not, it is blessed with a ideal agricultural location. Alsace is a plain surrounded by the Vosges mountains in the west and the Black Forest mountains in the east. Natural irrigation contributes to the fertility of the soil. Most of the vineyards are located at an altitude of bewteen 200 and 400 metres. The vineyards here take maximum advantage of their exposure to the sun, allowing a slow, extended ripening process of the grapes, resulting in wines with very elegant and complex aromas. The geology of Alsace is a mixture of soils made up of granite, limestone, sandstone and many others, bringing out the finest characteristics of each grape variety, with the imprint of the Alsatian terroir. 

Alsace wines are typically named by the grape variety from which they are made. And there are seven main varietals in Alsace, 6 whites and just 1 red, boasting a unique range that varies from the very dry and light-bodied, to the most opulent and full-flavored. The varieties are Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Gewurtraminer and Pinot Noir.

It is easy to recognize an Alsace wine from the long, slender bottle which is compulsary for all Alsace wines. Only the 53 official wine appellations can be bottled in Alsace. AOC Alsace serves as a guarantee of the authencity of a wine from Alsace. AOC Alsace Grands Crus are granted to 51 exceptional terroirs and only four grape varieties (Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris and Gewurtraminer) are permitted in the crafting of these Grand Crus wines. Vendanges Tardives are wines that are made from overiped grapes picked several weeks after the start of harvest and only from AOC Grand Crus. The aromatic character of the grape is enhanced by concentration and the development of "noble rot (Botrytis Cinerea)". Finally, the Selections de Grains Nobles - individual grape berries that are affected by "noble rot" are harvested in successive pickings. The concentration causes the character of the grape variety to become more subtle, resulting in powerful wines of great complexity and exceptional length on the palate. Truly exceptional.

 

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Alsace

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