Located in northeast of France, Alsace is something of a hidden treasure and was named as one of six seriously underrated wine regions by Decanter experts in 2015. Alsace is mostly known for its very aromatic, floral and spicy white wines.

The key grape varieties in Alsace include Riesling, Sylvaner, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris

Quick links  Alsace wine reviews | Ten top Alsace restaurants | Alsace 2015 vintage set to be a ‘bulldozer’ | Alsace: the new generation

Alsace map

The three major appellations of Alsace are:

AC Alsace: Made mostly from single grape varieties and named after the grape from which they are made, or made from a well-balanced blend of grape varieties from the region.
AC Alsace Grand Cru: Featured within fifty-one specially designated vineyard, the wines must satisfy a number of quality-related criteria to become a Grand Cru: the grapes are grown in strict limitations on terroir, highly restricted yields, specific rules of conduct regarding the vines, minimal natural ripeness levels and taste.
AOC Crémant d’Alsace: Fresh and elegant sparkling wine, the Crémant d’Alsace is made mainly from Pinot Blanc, but also from Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay.

More recently, there have been moves to create a tier of Alsace premier crus.

The region’s production of white wines is the equivalent of 150m bottles annually. That represents more than 90% of the total of Alsace wines production.

Alsace benefits from a semi-continental climate, which is mostly sunny, hot and dry. Situated on the sub-Vosgian foothills, the vineyards are very well exposed to the sun, which favours the slow ripening of the grapes.

Quick links Alsace Pinot Noir makers push for grand cru status | Famille Hugel in Alsace launches first Lieu-dit Riesling CuveeDry Alsace Riesling: Expert’s Choice