A Note from WBC15 Partner, Wines of Alsace
They are one of three Wine Discovery Sessions to choose from at WBC15 on Saturday, August 15.
Join Wines of Alsace for “The Spectrum of Dry Riesling” Wine Discovery Session to explore the range of dry styles produced from this noble variety. Held on Saturday, August 15th and led by Wines of Alsace’s Louise Jordan DWS, this session will focus on why France’s Alsace region is such an ideal growing environment for the “king of grapes.”
With its ability to clearly express terroir, innate high acidity, versatility of styles and food-friendly nature, Riesling is undeniably one of the greatest varieties in the world. However, it is also one of the most misunderstood by consumers (most perceiving Riesling as only being sweet). While this diverse grape can produce off-dry versions, some of the best dry expressions co
me from Alsace. Thanks to its exceptional climate and vast mosaic of soil types, even dry Alsace Rieslings vary in style, from lean and racy to rich and powerful.
Alsace produces 10% of the world’s Riesling, and the variety reigns supreme in the vineyards, with 22% of the land devoted to it. Riesling is allowed in the production of two quality tiers: AOC Alsace and the 51 AOC Alsace Grands Crus. Uniquely for France, Alsace labels its wines by variety, and each wine must contain 100% of the grape specified.
Located in the northeastern corner of France, Alsace’s vineyards are situated on the foothills of the Vosges Mountains and follow the Rhine River southward in a long, narrow strip. The Vosges effectively block westerly rains and offer protection for the vines, making Alsace the second driest region in all of France. Together with a sunny, cool continental climate, grapes are able to attain ripeness while retaining acidity, which is key to producing fresh and balanced wines.
In addition to this enviable climate, Alsace also boasts the most diverse terroir in France with 13 distinct soil types. From granite and limestone to schist and sandstone, each soil offers an enormous variety of taste profiles and characteristics. With centuries of winemaking know-how, producers harmonize their styles with each individual plot of land, so that each grape variety and wine is a pure expression of Alsace. Depending on which terroir a dry Alsace Riesling comes from, it can be lean and zesty with citrus fruits; rounder and bold with stone fruits; or rich and fuller-bodied with a smoky minerality.
Along with Riesling, Alsace also produces mainly Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. Crémant d’Alsace, sparkling wine made in the traditional method, is the most popular bubbly in France after Champagne.