Nestled between the Rhine river and Vosges Mountains, Alsace is certainly one of the most picturesque vineyard areas in the world, with chocolate-box, timber framed houses and cobbled streets aplenty.
Over the centuries, Alsace has traversed both French and German identities but has remained firmly part of France since 1945, although a local, Alsatian dialect is still spoken. Stretching over 100km from north of Strasbourg, south to Mulhouse, Alsace has a very distinct climate with hot summers and long, dry autumns. These conditions create the perfect environment for a range of wine styles, from sparkling and dry, to late harvest and very sweet, with some healthy grapes hanging on the vines as late as December! The most famous cultivars grown, known as the noble varieties, are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat and Pinot Gris, all of which are capable of producing incredibly complex, single varietal, age-worthy wines. Rieslings are typically full bodied and fleshy, with zingy, lifted acidity and a very dry, stony finish whilst Gewurztraminers have even more weight to them, showcasing pungent, perfumed aromas of rose, lychee and baking spices. The Muscat wines of Alsace are also very aromatic, with heady flavours of orange blossom and grape whilst Pinot Gris wines hold more freshness over time, developing notes of honey and dried fruit.