Alsace is the most famous French region in the world for white wines. Cultivated almost exclusively with white grapes, they are really the absolute protagonists: in the label of the wines the name of the grape is a primary element, while, usually, the place of origin is indicated. Not surprisingly, the Alsatian grapes are among the most aromatic in the world: Gewürtztraminer, Moscato bianco, Riesling have a particularly floral and fruity character thanks to the characteristics of the territory.
Protected to the west by the Vosges mountains, the rains are less frequent than other French regions. The climate is rather hot and dry. Despite its proximity to Germany, the Alsatian wines are certainly more dry and full-bodied, because they turn all the sugar into alcohol. To preserve the fresh and fruity character of the grapes, casks for aging are unlikely to be used.
The Alsace vineyards are between 170 and 470 meters: the humidity of autumn favors the development of Botrytis Cinerea, a parasitic fungus essential for the production of the famous Sélection de Grains Nobles.
The composition of the land is very varied: granite, schistose, sandy, clayey, volcanic, calcareous sediments, the plains at the foot of the Vosges are, however, alluvial. This makes the soil very fertile and suitable for growing grapes. The latter makes the wines with the most structure; the former make them more mineral and delicate, in particular the Rieslings. The red berried grape is present in a minimal part in Alsace: it is Pinot Noir, commonly used for the production of Rouge and Rosé D'Alsace and for the classic method sparkling wines Crémant D'Alsace.
The most famous grapes, however, are the noble white wines: Gewürtztraminer, Moscato bianco, Riesling, Pinot Grigio.
Less noble but very characteristic are the Sylvaner, Pinot Bianco, Klevner, Auxerrois, Chasselas grapes. Often used in combination with others, they give the bottle further character and structure.
Alsace is recognized by the French quality system as an area of Appellation d'Origine Côntrolée (AOC). Inside there is the further distinction between Alsace Grand Cru AOC and iCrémant D'Alsace AOC wines. All Alsace AOC wines can bear the name of the production grape on the label only if they are monovarietal; moreover, those from late harvest, the so-called noble grapes and the particular productions (Réserve, Sélection and Special Cuvée) are indicated.