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Home Wine Regions French Wine Regions Overview French Wine Regions - Alsace

French Wine Regions - Alsace

The wine makers of Alsace are among the longest standing in the world, dating back to Rome. The inhabitants of this rich wine making region of France are of a mixture of German and French descent. They even have their own language, Alsatian, which is based on German. While this is a very small wine making region, their wine making tradition is well established.

There are approximately 6,000 wine growers living in this small area near Germany. But the total population of the area is estimated at more than 1.5 million.

The weather in this region tends to be hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Snow is a regular winter visitor. Even though the Alsace wine region is small, the soil is very diverse. Some areas have sand, others have granite, and other have clay. There is even plenty of volcanic soil and marl in this region.

The success of growers in this area can only be attributed to generations of experience working the land. After all, some of the best Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Tokay, Sylvaner, and Gewürztraminer grapes are grown here.

More than 150 million bottles of wine are produced from this small region in France. Surprisingly, more than 90% of those wines are white wines.

Tokay is one of the most unique and popular whites. It is made with a full body from Pinot Gris. More than 22 million bottles of Tokay are produced here annually. It is said to go great with Quiche or red meats.

Sylvaner is normally associated with Austria, but it has been a part of the Alsace wine region for a couple centuries now. It is used to create dry, fruit white wines that go well with fish meals. Sauerkraut is also a common food pairing with these white wines. There are about 20 million bottles of this white wine produced here annually.

The peachy, pear flavored, dry white wines created with local Pinot Blanc is said to be the perfect complement to Munster cheese. It is one of the most common white wine types from this region, at about 33 million bottles of annual wine production.

A close cousin of Champagne is Crémant d'Alsace. It is a sparkling white wine created from a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc. Interestingly, this white wine has the scent of a fruit red. It tastes delicious with Langres cheese.

The Alsace wine region produces some great wines. When you first try wine from this region, be sure you get one classified as Grand Crus in order to ensure that you're tasting the best of the region.