A little history
In Alsace, we have a vast vineyard with a rich terroir, where every vine tells a story that goes back centuries. Our vineyards stretch proudly along the Route des Vins, a 170 km route between Marlenheim and the north of Thann, passing through our enclave at Obermorschwihr.
It's made up of numerous terroirs, with very different soils, and 7 main grape varieties, all of which benefit from the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC), originally created in 1935 to protect and defend the market for Alsatian wines. In Alsace, wine-growing in the strict sense of the word was imported with the arrival of the Romans. Historically, Alsace became a French wine-growing region again in 1918. After the Second World War, it was decided to restructure the Alsatian vineyards and to promote the different grape varieties rather than the estates themselves, which is why the wines are classified according to Alsatian grape varieties.
The grape varieties of Alsace
The choice and interest in working with a single grape variety throughout the region offers a pure and singular expression that indicates the use of a single Alsace grape variety per wine. Find out more about each grape variety below, each distilling unique sensory experiences.
- Pinot Blanc - A fresh, balanced wine.
- Sylvaner - Aromatic freshness at its best.
- Riesling - Pure elegance and delicate minerality.
- Muscat - A floral symphony in every sip.
- Pinot Gris - Richness and complexity in the bottle.
- Pinot Noir - The finesse of red in a sea of white.
- Gewurztraminer - Spice and exoticism in harmony.
You can see that each of them offers wines with different experiences. It goes without saying that, with the same grape variety, each winemaker, like a master craftsman, plays with the fermentation processes to create a symphony of distinct cuvées, each bottle a unique ode to its grape variety.
This enables us to produce different Alsace wines, allowing the grape varieties to express themselves and develop different aspects.
But before we can do the work in the cellar, we first have to harvest them. And that happens every year at a very specific time: harvest time.
The harvest ritual
Every year, the winegrower prepares for the sacred moment of harvest. While expert hands have traditionally selected the grapes by hand, health and climatic considerations have paved the way for mechanical harvesting. However, for our Grands Crus, Vendanges Tardives, and Grains Nobles, the ritual persists - hand-picking and corks are de rigueur, in accordance with a strict quality charter. Too much rain, disease and heatwaves are factors on which we are too dependent. However, the quality charter for Grands Crus, Vendanges Tardives and Grains Nobles requires manual harvesting and the use of cork for the corks.
The date for the start of the harvest and the pre-harvest period for crémants are set by prefectoral decree in Alsace.
On the other hand, there is no cut-off date, and everyone is free to harvest at any time they see fit, while complying with the AOC specifications for the various appellations or terms and conditions, all of which have been carefully regulated for many years.
The so-called "Ice Harvest" or "Ice Wine" encompasses a specific method, as the grapes have to be frozen and this requires a very special and more complicated extraction process.
There is no time limit for harvesting the grapes for classic cuvées, or even for a late harvest.
Vendanges Tardives and Sélection Grains Nobles d'Alsace
The magic of the grape harvest extends to the Vendanges Tardives and Grains Nobles d'Alsace, recognised since 1984. Producers are looking for a minimum "potential" degree to be reached for their plots, adding a superior dimension to Alsace viticulture.
Grapes affected by 'noble rot', guided by Botrytis Cinerea, earn the 'Grains Nobles' appellation. The result is a concentration of aromas of rare intensity, the fruit of this unique symbiosis between nature and the winegrower's know-how.
Immerse yourself in a world where time, terroir and the winemaker's passion combine to create wines that transcend the ordinary. Discover our history, explore our grape varieties and taste the essence of Alsace winegrowing.