The seven grape varieties
In Alsace, the wines generally take their name from the grape variety and not from the vineyard. Winelovers appreciate Alsace wines because they unite sensory pleasures: a slim bottle that is instantly recognisable, the distinct fruit-driven aroma and taste that identifies each grape variety, creating a unique palette of wines, ranging from light and dry to opulent and rich.
Crémant d'Alsace is generally a harmonious blend of several grape varieties, each of which contributes to the subtle balance of the whole. It makes a refined aperitif and an ideal cocktail or reception wine. Its delicate freshness and fruit also enhances a wide range of gastronomic events.
Grands Crus Wines from Eguisheim and the Surroundings
The Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) Alsace Grand Cru is only granted to wines made from grapes harvested in certain strictly defined areas within the Alsace wine region of production.
Only four varieties are authorized for AOC Alsace Grand Cru :
Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat d'Alsace.
• EICHBERG (Eguisheim): The exceptional quality of Eichberg wines has been recognized since ancient times. Opulent and full, the wines from this vineyard display finesse and remarkable fruit. Without a doubt, these wines are predestined to age well and develop their varietal character and aromas.
• HATSCHBOURG (Voegtlinshoffen): Reputed since ancient days, the Hatschbourg is mentioned in many documents from the Middle Ages. Hatschbourg Grand Cru wines display excellent varietal character, beautifully developed aromas and are well suited to ageing in bottle.
• PFERSIGBERG (Eguisheim and Wettolsheim): The Pfersigberg is mentioned from the 16th century in leases signed between the nobility and convents. More recently, at the first Colmar Wine Fair in 1927, Eguisheim winegrowers brought this vineyard back into the limelight. Pfersigberg wines, especially Gewurztraminer, are noted for their body, their fruit character and their ageing potential.
• STEINGRUBLER (Wettolsheim): The name Steingrubler recalls the existence of quarries mentioned in Wettolsheim as early as the 13th century. Steingrubler Grand Cru wines age well. They are rich in aroma, full bodied and solidly structured.
Both AOC Alsace and AOC "Alsace Grand Cru" designations may also be complemented by 2 prestigious categories of rare, late-harvested wines: "Vendanges Tardives" and "Sélection de Grains Nobles".
The Alsace Wine Road
Each one of the Wine Route's 170 kilometres encourages you to discover a region where living has become a form of art.
Right from the start, the Alsace Wine Route looks like a living picture postcard: serried ranks of well-kept vineyards rising over the foothills like an army attacking the forested Vosges, once-proud ruined castles from the Middle Ages, villages whose fortified ramparts serve only to protect the happiness of flower-decked streets, welcoming inns, inviting wine cellars, but also noble manor houses, historic churches and fountains generously bequeathed by the Renaissance.
For every one of these unforgettable sights, the Alsace Wine Route merits your visit. Yet to the more curious of visitors, by leaving the beaten track, other secrets will be revealed.
Between one gateway at Marlenheim and the other at Thann, take the time to discover the authentic soul of the Wine Route: meet the winegrowers, taste their wines, wander through a maze of streets in Medieval villages then, far from the crowds, walk along the vineyard trails until, high on the vineyard terraces, you admire the view which, for a moment's pause, is yours alone.
Finally, at every stop, allow yourself to be surprised by the local way of life and by its culinary creativity which, with the complicity of its wines, has made Alsace one of the most gourmet regions of France.