There are seven primary wine-producing regions in France: Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire, Provence, and the Rhone Valley comprise the dominant French wine regions. These regions are known for particular grape varietals as dictated by the district’s indigenous terroir.
Unlike the rest of France, Alsace names its wines by grape varietal instead of just place names of origin. White wines comprise the vast majority of Alsace wines, with Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling as the most noteworthy of the Alsace varietals.
Where exactly is Alsace?
Alsace wine region is located in the northeast part of France on the border with Germany and Switzerland. To the west, Alsace region has Champagne and Burgundy wine regions and to the south, Jura and Savoie; thus the Alsace wine region benefits from an ideal location in the heart of Europe. Having a mixed culture of German and French, there is a strong influence on the heritage, gastronomy and even on the wines of Alsace.
Alsace wine region boasts beautiful hilly vineyards stretching along the Rhine river in the north-east of France, they share the production of the 51 grand crus, 33 in the Haut-Rhin and 18 in the Bas-Rhin. Alsace wines enjoy exceptional diversity because of the diverse terroirs of these two sub-regions. Alsace also has the highest percentage of certified organic and biodynamic producers in France and the region has a long history of small, family-owned wineries, many of which date to the 1600 and 1700s.
What so special about Alsace wines?
Renowned worldwide for their subtlety and elegance, the Alsace wines are unique for their incredible palette of aromas and flavors. The number of Grand Crus make Alsace wine region unique among other regions of France, with a whopping of 51 Grand Crus come under only 3 appellations, wine from one grand cru will taste different than a wine produced in another Grand Cru. Reflecting the complexity and richness of the Alsace wine-growing region, each Grand Cru wine has its own specific geological identity that gives it a unique intensity, subtle vibrations, a remarkable texture and infinitely delicate aromas.
For an Alsace Wine to earn the title of Grand Cru, it must come from a vineyard with the Grand Cru designation. According to the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) only Riesling, Muscat, Gewurztraminer, or Pinot Gris grape varieties (the so-called “Noble Varieties” of Alsace”) can be used. Yields must be low. A Grand Cru will also have the name of the vineyard on the bottle.
Beyond its Grand Cru wines, Alsace is noted for its sparkling wine, Crémant d’Alsace. Like Champagne, these wines are made in the “traditional method” with a secondary fermentation in the bottle. From starter to dessert, Crémant d’Alsace is a renowned sparkling wine, thanks to its light crispness and the zing of its delicate bubbles.
Alsace is one of the greatest, but least-known treasures of the wine world. Often cited as a favourite among wine professionals, its authentic, elegant and well-balanced wines are made to be shared and enjoyed.
OWC is pleased to bring in some exclusive Alsace wines into Singapore, feel free to browse our Alsace wines selection at our eShop, happy shopping!