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Alsace: wines, denominations, characteristics

Alsace: an ideal cradle for viticulture

Alsace, a region of northeastern France, is considered a privileged region for viticulture. The vineyards can enjoy many hours of sunshine and a warm and dry climate, favored by the presence of the Vosges massif that shelters the area from winds and humidity from the Atlantic Ocean, creating one of the areas with the lowest rainfall in the whole France.

Moreover, we must add an extraordinary variety of land; clay, granite, shale and limestone help the wines produced here to be round. From a historical point of view Alsace has been famous since the Middle Ages for its ancient vines, many of which survived the post-war period and have acquired ever greater prestige, becoming true excellences.

Today Alsace is one of the most advanced wine regions in Europe, both from the point of view of the protection of the territory and for tourism and culture. The region attracts thousands of travelers every year, thanks to the picturesque villages overlooking the Rhine, including Colmar, Mulhouse and then ending up in a big city like Strasbourg.

In addition to cultural tourism, a real wine tourism has been developing in Alsace for more than fifty years. The famous “Wine Route“, which winds at the foot of the Vosges and connects the main vines and cellars of the region, is a real attraction, known by enthusiasts and not.

Denominations of Alsatian wines

The Alsace wine region is recognized as an area of “Denomination of controlled origin”. In this area more than 160 million bottles are produced each year, of which more than 80% of white wine; in fact, all the main vines produce white berries, with the exception of Pinot Noir, which is the only recognized red wine. Much of the wine production is exported all over the world.

White wines

The Gewurztraminer, particularly aromatic and deriving from an old strain always known in Alsace. The wine is spicy and very aromatic, it suggests the summer and far away exotic places. It adapts very well to spicy foods and tasty cheeses, so it can be used very well in combination with Asian cuisine.

The Sylvaner d’Alsace, fresh and slightly fruity, is reminiscent of freshly cut grass. Sylvaner delicately accompanies seafood and is mainly eaten in summer.

The Pinot Blanc d’Alsace, fruity, with medium acidity, is the right middle ground between the Alsatian wines. If it were an activity it would be a walk in the countryside. It goes well with fish, with white meats and with eggs.

Riesling D’Alsace, the fruity taste combines with the taste of minerals and earth. It is recognized as one of the best white wines in the world and lends itself well to long aging in the bottle. It is excellent with fish, molluscs and crustaceans.

The Muscat d’Alsace, is a dry wine that is often served with all the typical French and German dishes. It is a wine that opens the appetite and goes well with vegetables.

The Pinot Gris d’Alsace, concentrated and intense. It is a white wine that is best enjoyed with dishes usually accompanied by red.

Klevener de Heiligenstein, round and fruity. It is recognized as the passe-partout of wines as it can be served with any type of dish. It is often compared to Gewurztraminer due to the roundness of the aroma.

Red wines

Pinot Noir is the only red grape authorized in Alsace. Despite being part of the minority of reds is present in this region of France since the Middle Ages. The wine is light and fresh, with aromas of blackberry, raspberry and cherry. It goes perfectly with meats and cheeses, but thanks to its light taste, it can also be tasted with fish.

Alsace: curiosity

For reasons linked to the long winemaking tradition, Alsace is the only area where it is allowed to insert the name of the grape with which the wines are produced in the label affixed to the bottle.

The Alsatian “Route of Wines” is the oldest and most famous street in all of France, as well as one of the most popular trails in Europe and around the world.

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