AOC in Alsace
There are three Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée in Alsace which rule the production of Alsace wines.
Generally referred to by the grape varietal, the Alsace AOC wines have to meet strictly verified criteria: yield, alcohol content, bottling within the production area, and qualities of taste and smell.
AOC Crémant d’Alsace
These sparkling wines are made using the traditional method, from one grape variety or a blend of varietals classed AOC Crémant d’Alsace.
AOC Alsace Grand Cru
In addition to the name of the varietal, these wines carry the name of one of the 51 terroirs in Alsace classed Alsace Grand Cru. They must follow special production rules, come from defined geographic areas and can only be made from one of four grape varieties: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat. The label must show the vintage, the name of the terroir among the 51 which can claim the appellation, and usually the varietal. The AOC Alsace and Alsace Grand Cru can also have two other additions: Vendanges Tardives, or late harvest and Sélections de Grains Nobles. The Alsace Grand Cru represents an average annual production of close to 45,000 hectoliters, or 4% of all Alsace wines, which is another indication of the wines’ rarity and quality.
History of the AOC Alsace Grand Cru
The AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) was created in 1975. It delimits 51 specific areas of exceptional terroirs which give distinctive authenticity to the wines. In 2011 these areas were recognized, as with many Appellations, with an AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée, or protected geographic area). These AOC must follow the strictest production rules of all the vineyards. Some among them have chosen to set even higher production standards (the Rangen, Eichberg and Pfersigberg) aiming for a more ambitious viticulture of even greater quality.