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Wine Spectator School

Class 5: Old World Model: France

Alsace: Key Areas, Key Wines

Many of the most famous wines come from the central and southern sections of Alsace, where the weather is slightly warmer and drier, allowing the grapes to ripen more fully and make more concentrated, powerful wines.

Among the region's many quaint villages surrounded by emerald vineyards, the best known include Ribeauvillé, Hunawihr and Riquewihr. Winemakers frequently grow or buy grapes in a number of different villages, but rather than being homogenous, many of the wines reflect the wineries' house styles.


Rating Quality

In the 1970s Alsace classified 50 specific vineyards as grands crus ("great growths") because the wines from these vineyards were consistently high in quality, with distinctive characteristics. Wines made from 100 percent Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris or Muscat grown in these...

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