What do You Know about Alsace, France

Trimbach Reserve Pinot Gris 2012

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A little bit about Alsace, France

The most striking thing about Alsace is that such abroad diversity can exist within such a small area. Its history and culture are extremely rich, though that history has too often been marred by German-French antagonism. Perhaps this has made the Alsatians resilient, willing to work hard to make the best of a bad situation. Certainly when it comes to growing grapes, their diligence and perseverance have helped create one of the most fascinating quilts of vineyard usage anywhere.

The Vineyards of Alsace cover approximately 35,000 acres/ 14,000 hectares in a narrow, sunny, but cold valley of about 60 miles/100 kilometers long and 2.5 miles/4 kilometers at its wides. The Vosges Mountains create a rain shadow that protects the vineyards from the winds and moisture from the west, and the Rhine River provides a moderating influence to the east. The result is a semi-Continental climate providing a long dry growing season that allows the grapes to ripen slowly and develop the aromatic qualities that have become the signature of the region’s wines. The foothills of the Vosges provide some steeply angled slopes with a rich variety of soil types and structures, as well as unique pockets of microclimatic influences.