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74 Cards in this Set

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Hybrid vines banned
1925
Alsace flute made law
1972
growers/negociants/co-op % of vineyards
Grower producers - Over 50 %
Co-ops - 1/3 of vineyard area
Negociants - 5% of vineyards but buy rest in
Number and size of growers
5,000 growers
3,000 farm less than 2ha
Exports
25% exported
Belgium/Luxemburg
Netherlands
Germany
Denmark
USA
UK
% sales for growers/negs/co-op
23% growers
37% co-ops
40% negociants
Alsace ACs
Alsace AC (80%)

Alsace Grand Cru AC (51 vineyards)
Alsace AC law
grape variety stated on label
(except small number of blends)
100% from stated variety
80hl/ha WHITE
75hl/ha RED
Alsace AC hl/ha law
80hl/ha WHITE
75hl/ha RED
Alsace Grand Cru AC law
individual vineyards
Vineyard and grape variety on label
100% single varietals
from Riesling, Muscat, Gewürztraminer or Pinot Gris (exceptions!)
Must be hand picked
max yields lower than Alsace AC
New plantings over 4,500 vines per ha
Prune 8 - 19 buds per square M
Local Syndicat Viticole controls chaptalisation, harvest date etc
Alsace Grand Cru AC vineyard numbers
51 vineyards qualify for Grand Cru status
Alsace Grand Cru AC grapes
Riesling
Muscat
Pinot Gris
Gewürztraminer
Exceptions:
Kaefferkopr, Altenberg de Bernheim = BLENDS
Zotzenberg = Sylvaner
Alsace Grand Cru AC exceptions
Kaefferkopr, Altenberg de Bernheim = BLENDS
Zotzenberg = Sylvaner
All others are 100% Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris or Gewürztraminer
Alsace Grand Cru AC viticulture
hand picked
New plantings must exceed 4,500 vines per ha
8 - 19 buds per square metre pruning
60hl/ha Yields lower than Alsace AC
Alsace Grand Cru AC created
1983
PLC
Abréviation for official French mechanism where max AC yield is increased by up to 20%
VT
Vendage Tardive
- Late harvest
- From 4 noble varieties
- 100% single varietal
- Chaptilisation forbidden
- Min potential abv by grape
- Some of level of residual sugar
Vendage Tardive min potential alcohol
Riesling = 14% potential alcohol
Muscat = 14% potential alcohol
Pinot Gris = 15.3% potential abv
Gewürztraminer = 15.3%
Vendage Tardive Chaptalisation
forbidden
SGN
Selection de Grains Nobles
Sweet wine produced in outstanding vintages
- Noble rotted grapes
- one of 4 noble varietals
- 100% single varietal
- Some level of botrytis
- Riesling/Muscat abv potential = 16.4%
- Pinot Gris/Gewurztraminer = 18.2%
-
Alsace geography
Vosges mountains shelter
Rhine river to East
Alsace sunshine
1,800+ sunshine hours
Alsace climate
Driest in France
Hot summers
Long dry autumns
Cold winters allow vine rest
Alsace climate risks
Near perfect vine growing conditions
Occasional summer hail
Extreme winters can kill vines
Alsace climate exception
Colmar (center)
warm mesoclimate
daily temp 1C higher than average
Alsace soil
Best vineyards on East facing slopes
Lesser vineyards on plains
Alsace length and breadth
140km long
4km wide
Haut-Rhine in SOUTH
Bas- Rhine in NORTH
Upper slopes soils
Granite, gneiss, schist, quartz, clay, sedimentary volcanic, sandstone
Lower slope soils
Calcareous, sandstone, clay/marl, calcareous marl
Plains soil types
drainage good
water available
large soil variations
Care needed with rootstock selection
Best soils
Calcareous marl on lower slopes
rich in calcium
poor soils
Noble varieties
Riesling
Muscat
Gewürztraminer
Pinot Gris
Varietal labelling
!00% named grape
Alsace vs German style
Alsace = drier + fuller body
than equivalent German style
range of varieties
Different flowering + ripening times to spread risk
winemaking reflects grape character
suitable vines and rootstock identified for each commune
Grand Cru site soils
defined by:
Organic
Phosphoric
Potassium content
Communes each have
suitable vines and rootstock identified
Riesling wine style
Finest variety
strong fruit
full nose
High acid
11.5 - 12.4% abv typical
% of Riesling in Alsace
25%
Alsace Riesling soils
Granite and schist (upper slopes)
Best Riesling towns
Best = Wolxheim
Dambach-la-ville
Scherwiller
also
Hunawihr
Ribeauville
thann
Riquewihr
Gewürztraminer wines
Aromatic
spicey lychee, rosewater
Full palate
often some sweetness
Pink tinge give colour hint
Low acid common
High alcohol common
% of Gewurztraminer
1/5 of plantings
Best Gewürztraminer soils
Deep marl in Vosges foothills
Best Gewürztraminer sites
Barr
also
Bergheim
Eguisheim
Kayserverg
Turckheim
Pfaffenheim
Pinot Gris wine
Rich
Alcoholic
less aromatic nose
luscious flavourful palate
balancing acidity
Pinot Gris problems
Variable yeild
prone to fruit set difficulties
Best Pinot Gris soils
Deep soils rich in clay and fine particles
or
volcanic rock
Best Pinot Gris sites
Obernai
Extreme north at Cleebourg
Muscat %
3% of total plantings
Declining due to rot susceptibility
Muscat varietal in Alsace
Muscat blanc a petit grains = best quality
Muscat Ottonel widely planted as more reliable
Most widely planted Muscat in Alsace
Muscat Ottonel
Lower quality than MbaPG but more reliable
Best Muscat soils
sandy or calcareous
Best Muscat sites
Mittelwihr, Katzenthal
Muscat wine style
Dry
Distinctive grapey nose
Musky palate
Pinot Blanc %
1/5 of vineyard plantings
Pinot Blanc
early ripening
Suits light, fertile soils
Authourised for very small number of Grand Cru, VT, SGN
Sylvaner
Declining
Bas Rhine high yielding low alcohol neutral wines
sandy or chalk soils
Barr, Mittelbergheim, Epfig
Pinot Noir %
10% of plantings
Increasing as locals seek a change from white
Pinot Noir wine
Fruity rose
or
Barrel aged with body and colour
Not traditional flute required
Pinot Noir soils
Sandy or calcareous like Burgundy
Pinot Noir regions
High yields 75 hl/ha
quality from Rouge d'Ottrott
Chasselas
No new plantings allowed
Blending for Edelzwicker
neutral light wines
Tolerates range of soils and climates
Edelzwicker
Edel= nobel
Zwicker = blend
Noble blend
Gentil
The denomination Gentil is thus reserved for AOC Alsace wines that fit within the standards of a superior quality blend. This blend must consist of a minimum of 50% Riesling, Muscat and/or Gewurztraminer, the rest made up of Sylvaner, Chasselas and/or Pinot Blanc. Before blending, each grape variety must be vinified separately and must officially qualify as AOC Alsace wine. Gentil may not be sold commercially until after quality control certification in
Most common pruning system
Double guyot
vintage
Long due to number of varieties planted
Viticulture
Dense plantings
trained fairly high
Trellises follow land contours to maximise sun exposure
Steep vineyards terraced + v densely planted
mechanical harvesting OK on plains
Vinification aim
preserve and express primary aromatic fruit character
Pressing
Pneumatic press whole bunch for gentle pressing is common

3rd press cycle vinified and sold separately
Pressing length
Pressing no longer than 3 hours to reduce skin contact
Chaptalisation
occurs frequently
Fermentation
Very old oak tanks

Ferment often stopped with some residual sugar

Quality wine spends time on lees before bottling in Spring/summer after harvest
Alsace's finest riesling?
Trimbach Clos St Hune
limestone vineyard
small plot INSIDE wider grand cru of Rosacker
Hunawihr (west of Ribeauville) in North Haut Rhine (north of centre)