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Flashcards in Alsace Theory Deck (104)
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What three wars had the most significant impact on viticulture in Alsace?

Thirty Years War (1618-1648/France claims Alsace)
Franco-Prussian War (1871/Germany claims Alsace)
WWII (Germany occupied then French Reclaimed)


In what year did a divergence in style between the way wine was being made in Germany compared to Alsace occur?

German wines remained classically sweet, whereas Alsace producers fermented to dryness for a more powerful and food-friendly wine.


In what year did Alsace finally achieve AOC status becoming the last major French wine region to do so?



What are the two departments of Alsace and which has the highest percentage of Grands Crus?

Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin

Haut-Rhin has the highest percentage of Grands Crus with 2/3 of Alsace's Grand Cru vineyards.


What mountain range separates Alsace from the rest of France and is responsible for the dry climate of the region?

Vosges Mountains


The better vineyards of Alsace face what direction?

Southern, southeastern, or warm eastern exposures are the best


Despite its northerly location, Alsatian vineyards ripen with greater regularity than the vineyards of what other two major French wine regions?

Loire and Northern Burgundy due to the sheer number of sunlight hours in the summertime.


What is the name of the pink sandstone unique to Alsace? What are the other 7 soil types found here?

grés de Vosges

granite, limestone, schist, clay, gravel, chalk, loess are the others


What soils are mostly present on the Mountain slopes in Alsace? The lower slopes? The plains?

Mountain Slopes have schist, granite, and volcanic sediment

Lower Slopes sit on a limestone base

Plains consist of richer alluvial clay and gravel soils


What percentage of Alsace’s total AOP output is white wine? What % of all white French AOP white wine is produced in Alsace?

90% of AOP wine is white

18% of France's total AOP still white wine is made in Alsace


What are the four noble grapes of Alsace?

Pinot Gris


What three permutations of Muscat exist in Alsace?

Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains
Muscat Rosé à Petits Grains
Muscat Ottonel


What grape is commonly blended with Pinot Blanc and can actually be labled Pinot Blanc without any blended in?



If a wine is labeled “Pinot” in Alsace what grapes can be used for the production of that wine?

May contain any proportion of related varieties-Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Auxerrois


What is the synonym for Pinot Blanc in Alsace? Chasselas? Savagnin?

Klevner (Pinot Blanc)
Gutedel (Chasselas)
Klevener (Savagnin)


Which non-noble grapes can be bottled to produce AOP wine in Alsace? (4)

Pinot Noir
Pinot Blanc (Klevner)
Chasselas (Gutedel)


What are the three blending designations in Alsace? How do they differ in regards to production and labeling?

Edelzwicker (noble mixture)
Usually indicates its own inverse: an inexpensive wine. Edelzwicker do not need to be vintage-dated, nor are they even legally obligated to contain more than one grape. Blends in practice, but do not need to indicate any % or grapes on the label.

Gentil (superior designation for blends)
Requires a min of 50% noble grapes. Any other Alsace AOP grape may compose the remainder, and the base wines must be vinified separately.

Field Blends
Grapes are typically blended together and produced under a vineyard name.


Why are Alsatian Rieslings considered to be among the most long-lived white wines in the world?

due to a pronounced acidity and minerality


How does Alsatian Riesling compare in style to German Riesling?

Alsatian Rieslings are characteristically dry, more powerful, and higher in alcohol than their German cousins.


With sweetness creeping upwards in recent years, Alsatian AOP law mandates that from what year forward that the standard Riesling must be dry in style?



Pinot Gris was previously known as what in Alsace? (2)

Tokay d'Alsace
Tokay Pinot Gris


In regards to style how does Gewürztraminer compare to Muscat?

Muscat shows fragrant floral and grape notes whereas Gewürztraminer tends toward perfumed, sweet spices and tropical fruit.

Both are lower acidity, but Gewürztraminer is higher in alcohol and more likely to be off-dry.


In what department is Heiligenstein located and what is the star grape here? What is it a variant of? What Jura grape is it synonymous with?


Klevener is the local star grape here (aka Savignin Rose)

It is a variant of Traminer


In what department is Heiligenstein located and what is the star grape here? What is it a variant of? What Jura grape is it synonymous with?


Klevener is the local star grape here (aka Savignin Rose)

It is a variant of Traminer

Synonymous with Savignin in the Jura


What are the 5 communes that produce Klevener AOP wines?



What is the only red grape allowed to be used in the production of Alsace AOP wine?

Pinot Noir


What is the only appellation in Alsace that produces AOP wine that includes Chardonnay among other grapes for its production? What other grapes are allowed here? What two noble varietals are not allowed for production here?

Crémant d'Alsace

Riesling, Pinot Gris, Auxerrois, and Pinot Noir

Muscat and Gewurtztraminer are not allowed


For how long must a bottle of Crémant d’Alsace age on its lees prior to disgorging? For how long total must it age prior to release?

9 months on the lees

(9 months on the lees with 12 months total aging starting from the 2012 vintage onward)


What is the minimum atm measure of pressure that a bottle of Crémant d’Alsace must be bottled under?

min 4 atm


When was the first Grand Cru recognized in Alsace? When did the next 24 vineyards get recognized? When were the final 26 get recognized? What was the most recently recognized Grand Cru?

1975 (Schlossberg)

24 Grand Cru vineyards added in 1983

An additional 25 were recognized in 1992 with the last and most recent recognized in 2007

Kaefferkopf was the most recent