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Alsace is a historical region found in northeastern France. It borders both Germany and Switzerland on the Rhine River Plain. Here, you find the Alsace wine route! Wine Tasting in Alsace is a popular endeavor.
The Alsace wine route isn’t like any you have ever encountered this is because the grapes are different from one vineyard to the next and even one hillside to the next. You see, Alsace has micro climates, so a grape variety good be different from one part of the vineyard to the next. Likewise, each hillside is different…..so, some grapes get more sun and some get more wind and rain.
Wine Tasting in Alsace: What Wines are There?
When it comes to the kinds of wines you find in Alsace, you will see that there is a wonderful diversity of products and many different types of wines to try. You will also find Alsatian wine comes in a recognizable Alsatian flute bottle.
The Noble Wine Grapes
In Alsace, noble wines refer to wines made with grapes affected by noble rot. Noble rot is a beneficial form of grey fungus on wine grapes. When grapes are picked during the perfect point of infestation, they produce fine and concentrated sweet wine.
Therefore, noble wines are sweet dessert wines with rich, concentrated flavors. Alsace wines were the first to have a legal definition of noble wines introduced in 1984. Noble Varieties found in Alsace are wines labelled Alsace Grand Cru. This is because they must be from a named vineyard site and be made from one of four noble varieties:
Riesling is a white grape that originated in Rhine region (Rhine river). It is an aromatic grape that has flowery, perfume like aromas. These grapes are used to make dry, semi-sweet, and sparkling white wines.
Gewurztraminer is a pinkish, red grape. Although it is colored, it is still considered a white wine grape. This is because grapes that are blue or black are made into red wines. There is a lot of natural sugar in these grapes which makes them sometimes have aromas of roses, passion fruit, or floral notes.
Pinot Gris is another white wine grape. These grape varietals can range in color from white and pink to red and black. The ones found in Alsace are typically white or pink and produce a white wine. They have a lower acidity rate and higher levels of alcohol. The flavors made from these grapes can rage from a tropical fruit flavor to a botrytis flavor
The Muscat grapes have over 200 varieties to them. They can be white, yellow, pink, or even black. These grapes, however, always have a sweet floral aroma.
10 Different Types of Wines in Alsace| Wine Tasting in Alsace
Because Alsace is a cooler climate, it is known for its white wines. Although there are many different varieties of wines in Alsace, some of their finest wines are included in this list. You will see that these wines are listed and named by their grape variety.
Check out these 10 different types of wines in Alsace if you are going Wine Tasting in Alsace
As stated above, many wines are named after the grapes they are made from.As you can tell, grapes are the foundation building blocks of wine. Above you will notice these wines are also noble wine grapes:
Riesling made from the Riesling grapes of Alsace tends to be a dry wine that has hints of a citrus fruit flavor. It is used to make a number of other famous Alsatian specialties such as Choucroute. Most Riesling wine pairs well with fresh fish dishes.
#2 Pinot Gris
If you only want to open one bottle of wine (obviously not a wino), Pinot Gris pairs nicely with just about anything. These wines, of course, are made from the noble Pinot Gris grapes. Pinot Gris wine smells and tastes like plums or other stone fruits. Pair it with squashes, mushrooms, game meat, or duck.
Because Muscat wine is made from the noble Muscat grapes, it can have a variety of flavors depending which grapes were used. However, it is usually fruity and dry. It has a familiar floral smell that you won’t forget. Pair this wine with green vegetables like asparagus, artichokes, and broccoli.
Made from out noble grape, Gewurztraminer wine is bold and aromatic. Gewurz in the name means spice in German. So, the wine in fact, might smell or taste like spices. If you find that this wine is too sweet, pair it with bold dishes such as Middle Eastern dishes, Indian cuisines, or Asian foods.
Other Wines Found in Alsace
Although these wines are not made with the noble grapes of Alsace, you can certainly find them there. They are just as delicious, too!
#5 Pinot Blanc
Pinot Blanc is most often used in sparkling white wines. It is dry yet refreshing. You could mistake the taste for Chardonnay. Pair it with cold cuts, sausage, and other meats for a delicious taste.
#6 Cremant d’Alsace
This is a sparkling wine made in Alsace. Every winery has its own blend of Cremant d’ Alsace, but it is made with Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois wine grapes. This wine should be saved for a special day or celebration.
Sylvaner has been made in Alsace for a very long time, but it is harder to find in other parts of the world. This wine is light and refreshing and is one you need an acquired taste for. It pairs well with deli meats, fresh vegetables, or a salad. However, it can go with more varieties as well.
Auxerrois is similar to Pinot Blanc mostly because all Pinot Blanc is made with Auxerrois as well. Auxerrois is usually mixed with other grape varieties, so not many wineries have a 100% bottle of Auxerrois wine. But, you can always ask how much of this grape variety is in your wine.
Edelzwicker is a wine blend. That means it is made from other wines. It is reasonably priced and has been a part of the Alsace culture for a very long time. You will find that this wine is a very light and dry wine.
Chardonnay is probably the most well-known wine in the world, and you can find it in Alsace as well. But, the Chardonnay is only for producing sparkling wines.
Other Places to Visit
Want to visit somewhere other than Alsace? There are tons of wine routes all over the world. Here are just a few others you can check out:
Have you been wine tasting in Alsace? What was your favorite wine? Share in the comments below!