This region, wedged between the Rhine River and the Voges Mountains, is the product of a fascinating combination of French and German influence. It has been fought over by the two countries for hundreds of years, becoming French after the Thirty Years’ War, German after the Franco-Prussian War, French again after WWI, German during WWII, and finally, French afterward. Its system of Grands Crus can be confusing, and this is in part because Alsace, having been under German rule for a time, did not catch up with the AC system until 1962.
Both German and French grapes can be found here. There is German Riesling and Gewurztraminer, as well as French Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. Other varieties include Sylvaner, Chasselas, Auxerrois, and Pinot Noir. Alsace is best known for making rich, dry white wines, though a few reds from Pinot Noir are made as well. The wines are usually varietal wines labeled as such, though field blends exist as well. Alsatian cremants and dessert wines can be excellent as Read more »
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