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Grape Varieties

"It is necessary to be in the cellar of a good wine grower, after the grape harvests to realize the multiplicity of the Alsatian vines, because then, according to a secular tradition, the owner makes you do the tour of his wealth of the year while following an unchanging order.

One always begins with the ordinary type of vines, the Chasselas, the Knipperlé, if there is any, the Sylvaner, then while remaining in the same tone, one passes in quality vines, to the Muscat, or the Riesling, then in softer wines, to the Gewurztraminer and to the Tokay Pinot Gris.

Formerly, this ascending order came along with the fast decrease in the size of the tasted barrels. Currently, this traditional rule is often at fault, because many wine grower stores his Pinot Pinot or his Traminer in a bigger barrel than his Chasselas'one today. This proves of two things the one (or even both at the same time) : that the Alsatian wine grower finds a larger profit in the culture of quality vines, either that the amateur of Alsace wine prefers vintage wines to those of common consumption. "
According to Joseph Dreyer, Collector of the Brotherhood Saint Etienne d'Alsace.

The best vintages for Alsace Wines :

Exceptional : 1973, 1976, 1983, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1997
Very good : 1967, 1970, 1971, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1993, 1994.

The Klevener

The Klevner is a rarer grape variety, known as Klevener of Heiligenstein : superb white wine with a golden colour, discret and mellow specific character, which give it a fruity taste, and make of it a rare, much asked for wine made out of the ancient Alsatian Traminer named " Rotedel ", the grape variety " Savagnin Rose ", but less aromatic ?
The Klevener was brought to Heiligenstein in 1742 as the Council of the Municipal Magistrates of Strasbourg authorized Heiligenstein to plant Klevener on the borough. The burgomaster at that time, Ehrardt Wantz finally convinced the Council to agree upon his request, which was disputed by the close by villages.
The Klevener is a much sought after, full bodied and well balanced wine which lightly aromatic character is appreciated by the gastronomy: It is easily possible to have a full meal with Klevener, choosing for the dessert an older vintage which bouquet increased over the years, which is frequent for the Klevener.
The Klevener of Heiligenstein will be ideal for a meal, enhancing the taste of appetizers, of fish or meat.
Since February 4th, 1997, the denomination Klevener of Heiligenstein is from now on attributed in the A.O.C. Alsace to wines produced in a strictly defined vineyard.

3 Clearly Identifiable Appellations on The Label

The Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Alsace or Vin d'Alsace is the oldest and best known.

The label of an A.O.C. Alsace or Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Alsace wine mentions usuallythe name of the grape variety , out of the 7 recognized in Alsace.
It may also mention the brand name or the word "Edelzwicker" which is in fact a blend of many white grape varieties.

The label of an A.O.C. or Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Alsace Grand Cru is given only to wines which match particularly strict quality standards, more precisely in terms of specific vineyards, of a certain degree of ripeness, of successful completion of a tasting test by experts, etc...
The label of each and every bottle must clearly show the grape variety because only Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Tokay Pinot Gris and Muscat are allowed, the vintage and one of the fifty defined vineyards are entitled to this appellation.
It is the character of the soil, as much as the grape variety, which make of each wine of Appellation Origine Alsace Grand Cru an unique wine .

The A.O.C. or Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Crémant d'Alsace is given to sparkling wines of Alsace. Lively and delicate , they are made by the traditional method (similar to the one used for Champagne), mainly from Pinot blanc, but also from Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
The Crémant Rosé, much rarer, is exclusively made of Pinot Noir.
These wines are currently market leaders of Crémants made and marketed in France.

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