Flashcards in C17 - Alsace Deck (81)
What is the climate of Alsace?
Cool to moderate continental
What is a potential climatic threat to the region of Alsace?
Prevailing westerly rain-bearing winds
How is Alsace protected from the westerly winds?
By the Vosges Mountains
What is the rainfall like in Alsace? Explain this
Summers and autumns are warm and dry
There is very little cloud cover
The region is protected by the Vosges Mountains
What is the result on wines of the dry climate in Alsace?
Grapes can achieve high levels of sugar ripeness
What is a relatively unique climatic phenomenon in Alsace?
Where are the best vineyards of Alsace located?
On the steepest slopes with east and south east aspects
Describe the northerly part of the Alsace vineyard area
It has the coolest climate and the least protection from the Vosges
Where are the lesser vineyards of Alsace?
On the plain between the Vosges foothills and the Rhine
What is the main use of grapes from the lesser vineyards of Alsace?
In Crémant d'Alsace
What is the soil like in the vineyards of the foothills of Alsace?
Why is there so much soil variation in parts of Alsace?
It has experienced a dramatic geological history
What is the key factor in why there is so much variety in style in Alsace?
The geological variation
Grape growing practices in Alsace, vary depending on...
Whether the vineyards are on slopes or on the plain
Describe Alsatian vineyard practices on slopes
They are trained low to benefit from radiated heat
Rows are oriented to maximise the vines' exposure to the sun
Harvesting is done by hand
Describe Alsatian vineyard practices on the plains
Vines are trained high to minimise the risk of Spring frosts
What kind of viticulture is commonly practiced in Alsace?
Organic and Biodynamic
Why are Organic and Biodynamic viticulture popular in Alsace?
Low disease pressure in the sunny, dry conditions
What is the key logistical challenge faced by growers in Alsace?
Because they have a number of small plots of vines, each planted with different varieties, they will ripen at different times, therefore the vintage may be spread over a long period
Between which months does the Alsatian harvest usually last?
September - November/December
What are the most important/noble varieties of Alsace?
Which varieties may be used for VT, grand cru and SGN wines in Alsace?
The noble varieties only
The vast majority of Alsace wines are made from...
What are Alsatian blended varieties usually made from?
Juice that was not selected for varietal wines
What does it mean when an Alsatian wine is labelled Edelzwicker or Gentil? How else may this be labelled?
A blended wine
A producer's brand name
Are all Alsatian blends of a basic quality?
No, some are very high quality, even being made from grand cru vineyards, but these are very rare
Why is winemaking in Alsace so focused on retaining aroma/varietal character?
Most of the varieties are aromatic
How do traditional Alsatian winemakers typically ferment their wines?
In large old oak barrels, typically more than 100 years old
What is notable about the old oak barrels sometimes used in Alsace?
The inside is lines with a thick layer of Tartrates