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Alsace

Listed under Wine Regions in Colmar, France.

  • Photo of Alsace
  • Photo of Alsace
  • Photo of Alsace
Photo of Alsace
Photo by flickr user Fr Antunes
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Distinctive white wines, full of flavour and depth come out of the 67 tiny, pretty towns and hamlets that make up the Alsace region of northern France. Rieslings, Muscat, Pinto Gris and Gewurtztraminer grapes thrive in the warm, dry weather and are harvested late in the season to increase the overripe flavours, reflecting their similarities to close wine producing neighbours Germany. Some of the regions best producers are Deiss, Blanck, Trimbach, Beyer, Bruno Sorg and Weinbach, but there are 50 grand Cru vineyards where the regions best quality wines are produced and many smaller wineries most of which are open to the public, so tasters will be spoilt for choice. One thing that makes tasting particularly easy in Alsace is that the wines are all labelled with their grape variety, which means international palates won’t have to guess which grapes have gone in to each bottle and people may find it easier to find their favourite wines.

Separated from the rest of France by the Vosges mountains and from Germany by the Rhine, French and German wine making traditions have blended in Alsace, which has changed hands multiple times. This means a huge range of flavours come out of the wines here.

With short distances between many of the hamlets and their wineries and pretty walled vineyards along warm country roads this is a good region to visit on a bike. This region is also known for it’s rich cuisine and busy fresh produce markets. You would think that such a picturesque region producing such good quality wines would be more popular for wine tourists but the assumption that wines from Alsace are at the sweeter end of the scale when dryer wines are currently more fashionable means this area is often overlooked. In reality a lot of the regions wines aren’t as sweet as people expect them to be from the label and you'll hopefully discover some unexpected flavours.

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Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

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