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Alsace

Alsace is a very old and famous wine region in the northeastern part of France close to Rhine River, the german border and protected by the Vosges Mountains. The Mountain plays a key role for the Terroir as it protects from the cold west winds and the rains. There is a strong influence in the history of Alsace wine has been the repeated changes in the country of the Alsace region, which has moved from France to Germany and vice versa many times throughout history. The impact of the relations between the countries is to be seen in the architecture and to be tasted in the style of the wines. Alsace has always been and it is an almost entirely white wine-focused region. The region has three main appellations Alsace and Alsace Grand Cru for the still wines and Crémant d'Alsace for the sparkling. The four noble grape varieties Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat are the only one allowed to produce Grand Cru status wines from the 51 vineyards in the whole region. The Sylvaner is a traditional grape that can be used for one specific Grand Cru vineyard, named Zotzenberg. Two classical white blended wines are very popular within the region as well, one called Edelzwicker which can be made from all traditional grape varieties from the region, vinified together or separately and the other wine is called Gentil which must have at least 50% of Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris and/or Gewürztraminer, and the rest can be either Sylvaner, Chasselas or Pinot Blanc. They have to be vinified separately and fulfil the superior-quality blending standards. There are two additional classifications for the sweet wines called Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles. The first indicates that the wine is a late harvest with higher sugar levels and the other one identifies a dessert wine, made from grapes affected by botrytis cinerea, or noble rot. Not to be forgotten is the Pinot Noir which produces very light and elegant red wine due to the cold climate.

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