Spotlight: Pinot Noir's new grand cru status in Alsace
A new dawn for Alsace Pinot...
Located in northeast of France, Alsace is something of a hidden treasure, known for its very aromatic, floral and spicy white wines – and it’s white wines that make up over 90% of the region’s production.
The region has a unique heritage, as it has changed hands between France and Germany on several occasions throughout history. The wines are heavily influenced by their German neighbours, and even the bottles share the same fluted shape.
Alsace benefits from a semi-continental climate, which is mostly sunny, hot and dry. Situated in the foothills of the Vosges mountains, the vineyards are located in a rain shadow and are well exposed to the sun, which suits the slow ripening grape varieties grown here.
The key grape varieties include Riesling, Sylvaner, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris.
There are 15,500ha of AOC vineyards and 53 appellations – 51 of which are designated grands crus.
As well as still wines, the region also produces the most popular AOC sparkling wine consumed in France, Crémant d’Alsace.
Made mainly from Pinot Blanc, but also from Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay, it is a méthode traditionelle sparkling wine with a bright, fresh character.