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Alsace grape varieties

The Alsatian vineyard has the particularity to designate its wines by their grape varieties.

Sylvaner : lively, fresh and light bodied

Wine incredibly refreshing

Some believe that this grape variety was selected from savage vines located close to the Danube River. However, its inability to handle frost during cold winters weakens this assumption, despite the obvious etymological relation between Sylvaner and Transylvania.

It is historically proven that the Cistercian monk Alberich Degen imported this grape variety to Alsace in 1665. Modern viticulture began with Sylvaner, and this is why Sylvaner was cultivated with controlled yield much before any of the other grapes. Today, Sylvaner has gradually replaced the Chasselas in Alsace.

Fresh, light bodied, and lively, this wine is incredibly refreshing. Very digestable, it is elegant, robust and frank.

Sylvaner and its best culinary matches

Fish
Aperitif
Delicatessen
Mushrooms

Sylvaner can be easily paired with a wide variety of meals. Like the Pinot Blanc, it can be enjoyed with salads and deli meats, but also with fish (sardines, mackerel, cod, whiting…) and shellfish (oysters, mussels). It also accompanies many Alsatian dishes, such as Baeckeofe, Choucroute, or Tarte flambées.

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Pinot Blanc : delicate, fresh and supple

Wine fruity and floral

Pinot Blanc is an old mutation of the Pinot Family, and more precisely a decoloration of the Pinot Noir originally planted in many circumstances. In Bourgogne, its region of origin, Pinot Blanc was grown along side of Chardonnay. Imported in Alsace since the 16th century, it was replaced by Chardonnay in Bourgogne when the AOC rules were established in 1937.

Today, the great majority of Pinot Blanc grown in France is cultivated in Alsace, where it has become one of the most widely planted grape varieties. With its beautiful yellow dress, fresh, supple and tender, Pinot Blanc is fruity (lemon and apple) and floral (iris and violet). Slightly mineral, it has a nice structure and a well-balanced freshness. The bouquet also releases delicate aromas of butter and nuts.

Pinot Blanc and its best culinary matches

Fish
Cheese
Mushrooms
Meat Pie

Pinot Blanc can be enjoyed as an appetizer with deli meats and salads. It also makes a wonderful companion for many seafood dishes, including shellfish, oysters, mussels, scallops, crab, salmon, sardines, and tuna. As a main course, our Pinot Blanc matches perfectly with roasted poultry or pork filet mignon with a cream sauce. It is also enjoyed with exotic dishes such as sushi, spring rolls, Chinese fondue, taboulés, and tapas. Lastly, Pinot Blanc is often paired with many cheeses such as Cantal, Savarin, Gouda, and raclettes.

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Riesling : dry and elegant

Very aromatic, fresh and dry

Riesling is considered the 1st of the seven Alsatian grape varieties. In fact, it was cited in an important botanic treaty, the “Kreterbuch”, published in 1551 by Bock. Born in the Rhine Valley, Riesling is also called “Rhine Grape” (“Edle Gewurztraube” in the Alsatian language). Many wine experts consider Riesling to be the greatest of all white wines!

Very aromatic, fresh and dry, its pale robe expresses grapefruit, lime, pineapple, and apple, along with a nice touch of acidity providing much vivacity. As it ages, it will develop honey and quince aromas. Depending on the soil structure on which it grows, it can develop mineral aromas (silex), or orange flavors, and will gain much complexity when cellared.

Riesling and its best culinary matches

Oysters
Sushis
Goat cheese

Riesling is a great match for salads, sausage, and seafoods such as shellfish, oysters, mussels, calamari, and crabs… but also pairs with warm or cold goat cheese, caviar, sushi, fondue, frog legs, snails, and Choucroute.

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Muscat d’Alsace : very aromatic and delicate

Dry wine, very aromatic and musky

This old Greek grape variety has been cultivated since antique times in most Mediterranean wine regions. Muscat is actually the blend of two grape varieties:  Alsace Muscat, white with small bunches, the oldest of the two, characterized by a powerful bouquet which gives the impression of biting straight into the berry; and the Muscat Ottonel, coming from the hybridization of Muscat d’Alsace and Chasselas.

This dry wine, very aromatic and musky, accentuates the beautiful flavors of white grapes.

Muscat and its best culinary matches

Aperitif
Asparagus
Meat Pie

Muscat d’Alsace can be enjoyed as an aperitif, with cold meats or vegetables, but also with salmon, fish pâtés, or river fish. It will make a perfect companion for asparagus and kugelhopf.

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Pinot Gris : Round and rich

Intense yellow robe

According to the legend, this grape variety was exported from France to Hungary in 1375. Two centuries later, in 1565, the Baron Lazare of Schwendi, General of the Austrian Imperial Army, took over the city of Tokay in Hungary after defeating the Turks. He discovered marvelous wines and brought back Pinot Gris plants to Alsace. Simply referred to as Toak until the 1970’s, it became Tokay Pinot Gris following an agreement between France and Hungary, wherein, Hungary had to give up the “Medoc” name. The word Tokay was completely dropped on January 1st 2007, and it became Pinot Gris.

With an intense yellow robe, Pinot Gris is round, strong and powerful, expressing fruit flavors of peach and cherry, with flower aromas such as violet acacia (when young). When cellared, it will develop apricot and honey flavors. Flavors of nuts, smoke, and fresh butter are also characteristic of Pinot Gris.

Pinot Gris and its best culinary matches

Aperitif
Cheese
Dessert
Poultry

Pinot Gris can be enjoyed as an aperitif, but also with stuffed poultry, veal and pork scallops, liver, or with a traditional Baeckeofe. It will deliciously compliment exotic dishes such as spring rolls, laquored duck, and curry pork… It also makes a perfect companion for cheeses such as Cantal, Comté, Gouda, or Saint Nectaire. With desserts, Pinot Gris matches pies, mousse, and cream.

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Pinot Noir : the only red grape variety in alsace

Light, supple, with a nice acidity

The only red wine in Alsace, this grape variety comes from the savage vines of Western Europe, probably selected and cultivated during the Roman Empire.

Its purple tinted robe brings out liquorice aromas. The palate expresses profound fruit aromas of blackberry, cherry, strawberry, grenadine, raspberry, and currant, which marry the flavors of violets and truffles. Light, supple, with a nice acidity, Pinot Noir has a definite feminine side to it.

Pinot Noir and its best culinary matches

Cheese
Red Meat
Barbecue

Pinot Noir accompanies vegetables and meats, but also exotic dishes such as taboulés, couscous, and lamb tajine. Wild game (Pheasant, partridge, quail, hind, wild boar…), and sea food (stuffed crabs, salmon, grilled sardines, fish kebabs, saffron  or curry monkfish…) add to the variety of foods that complement this wine. Finally, it will enhance the taste of many cheeses (Camembert, Brie, Comté, Beaufort, Roquefort…).

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Gewurztraminer : strong and intense bouquet of fruits

Spicy and very aromatic

Gewurztraminer is unique in origin, combining both German Gewürz (spicy) and Savagnin Rose (Traminer). Tramine was formerly known as a city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but is now Italian. After its introduction in Alsace in 1870, the Traminer has adapted to the climate in a unique way, becoming spicier, and gradually replacing the old Traminer with the Gewurztraminer.

Gewurztraminer and its best culinary matches

Aperitif
Cheese
Dessert
Asian

Gewurztraminer is ideal for the aperitif, with foie gras, pastries, and exotic fruits (pineapple, mango…), but can also be associated with spicy cuisine, such as chicken tajine with lemon and green olive, and strong cheeses (Blue cheese, and Munster…).

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