Welcome to the Alsace Vineyards !
The Famous Alsace Wine Route !
After an unforgettable day in the Christmas spirit of festive Strasbourg all dressed up with lights & colours in December, here I am back in the Alsace Region, at the very beginning of March for a fascinating discovery of the vineyards located along the famous Alsace Wine Route !
The Alsace Wine Route was inaugurated in 1953 and stretches over more than 170 kilometers over a region that starts from Thann in the South ( next to the City of Mulhouse ) up to Marlenheim in the North ( next to the City of Strasbourg ).
The one thousand year old wine culture which is very much a part of the Alsace history and traditions is present everywhere along the lovely winding road amongst the vineyards of some of the most picturesque and beautiful villages and offering some of most magnificent panoramic views in France.
The natural barrier of the Vosgian Mountains creates a dry microclimate and the the South east exposition associated with limestone, sandstone and granite soils produces grape varieties such as the Riesling, Pinot, Muscat and Gewurtztraminer.
The German influence is still very much present through the grape varieties as well as the wine producing methods which sets the Alsace Region apart from the other French Wine producing régions with a strong interest for organic agriculture which forbids the chemical weeding as well as the use of synthetic chemical products for the treatment of the vine and promotes natural products such as the copper sulfate or with elaborate plants decoctions for the vineyards which have embraced the biodynamic method.
This day was for the me the perfect illustration that "wine is often the source of beautiful and happy encounters" as listening to a Wine Maker telling you the story of his vineyard and his passion for the vine and wine making often brings up the desire to learn a little more about this bottle of wine which accompany the meals of our lives, often too randomly chosen in the anonymous and sterile environment of a supermarket.
I must admit that until this happy discovery of the Alsace vineyards, I often associated its wines with a green if not acidic wine with a note of sulfur which sometimes brought headaches and was mainly good enough to be served with a sauerkraut...
Unfortunate preconceived ideas which are hard to kill and against which a new generation of wine makers has been working on a daily basis for the past 15 years to bring us quality wines at an affordable price and the Alsace wines still are a great bargain ! The overseas consumers have understood that long ago with a production that goes up to 65% into the export markets !
So I invite you all to discover or rediscover the Alsace Region wines which will charm your palate and pleasantly surprize your Friends when being served around your appetizers and meals !
From this journey of discovery of the Alsace vineyards, I have retained the folllowing wine references ( appointment only visits according to the availability of the Wine Maker ) :
L'As de B from the Agathe Bursin Vineyards ( Westhalten )
Cuvée Emma ( Muscat ) from the Domaine Eklé Vineyards ( Katzenthal )
Le Grand H ( Pinot Noir )
& La Cuvée Albert ( Riesling ) from the Domaine Albert Mann Vineyards ( Wettolsheim )
Le Fronholz ( Riesling )
& Le Fronholz ( Muscat ) from the Domaine Ostertag Vineyards ( Epfig )