Course: Understanding Wine

Class 5: Old World Model: France


alsace

 
Alsace has alternated between German and French control for hundreds of years. It has been French territory since World War II, but the wines are in some ways closer to those of Germany than those of France.

Like German wines, Alsatian wines are labeled with the grape variety and the region, and are bottled in the familiar tall, thin profile of German bottles.

Two of the most important varieties, Riesling and Gewürztraminer, are German in origin, but the wines themselves are quite different; the Alsace varietals are fuller-bodied.

 

 
Climate and Geography

Alsace lies in the northeastern corner of France, separated from Germany by the Rhine River.

The vineyards stretch from Strasbourg south to Mulhouse, along the eastern slopes of the Vosges Mountains. The Vosges protect the...

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