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Almost all of the Alsace vineyards are classified into 53 Protected Designations of Origin :
The AOC Alsace, established in 1962, concerns wines from parcels that have been rigorously and precisely delimited on the basis of historical production areas. It includes either one of the Alsatian grape varieties, which will usually be mentioned on the label, or a white wine blend, generally with the mention of Edelzwicker or Gentil.
The appellation has been completed by geographical denominations, the "Communales" and the "Lieux-dits", which you can find on the label of the famous long-necked bottle, called "flûte d'Alsace", protected and mandatory for still wines.
The "communal" or "sub-regional" areas have more restrictive regulations than the AOC Alsace: grape varieties, planting density, pruning rules, vine pruning, grape maturity and yields. 13 communes or inter-communal entities have been strictly delimited and can be indicated in addition to the AOC Alsace: Bergheim, Blienschwiller, Côtes de Barr, Côte de Rouffach, Coteaux du Haut-Koenigsbourg, Klevener de Heiligenstein, Ottrott, Rodern, Saint-Hippolyte, Scherwiller, Vallée Noble, Val Saint-Grégoire, Wolxheim.
The "lieux-dits", with even stricter regulations, are delimited according to a particular terroir which offers, in addition to the fruity character of the grape variety, a minerality specific to its soil and terroir.
Exceptional mellow and liquorous wines, the grapes have reached very high levels of over-ripeness, linked to the passerillage and noble rot (Botrytis Cinerea), and therefore concentrate their elements. They are harvested several weeks after the official start of the harvest.
Alsace has the ideal climatic conditions for this type of wine. Autumns with morning fog and sunny afternoons favour the appearance of noble rot. But not all years are favourable to the production of these wines, which makes them all the more exceptional.
Only the four noble grape varieties are allowed (Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Muscat).
A protected designation of origin since 1976, these sparkling wines, white or rosé, are made exclusively from Pinot blanc, Auxerrois, Pinot noir, Riesling, Pinot gris or Chardonnay. Crémant d'Alsace is vinified according to the traditional Champagne method and is characterised by great refinement and elegance. Harvested earlier than the others, they preserve freshness and youth through aromas of citrus and white flowers.
Recognised as an appellation since 1974, there are currently 51 classified and strictly delimited Garnds Crus, located on the sub-Vosgian hills.
The Grands Crus are distinguished by their privileged terroirs where geology, climate and exposure form an exceptional combination. The Grands Crus are made from noble grape varieties: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris or Muscat.