Alsace, land of vines
Every year, millions of tourists travel along the pathways and roads of Alsace, which offers a varied landscape and benefits from an extraordinary patchwork of different soil types. The region, which enjoys a dry and sunny climate, also has a complex geology, born out of the separation between the Vosges and the Black Forest. Its vines are ideally exposed, often on south-facing hillsides.
Its geographical situation also tells the story of a culture led at the start of our era by the Romans, then revived by the Merovingians and Carolingians, who were great drinkers of this "invigorating" wine that "made people happy".
Alsace vine-growing reached its peak during the 16th century.This period of prosperity was suddenly interrupted by the 30 Years' War which left the region open to pillaging, plague and the decline in population and all trading activities.
Alsace wines were only really revived after the First World War, when the wine-growers embarked on a quality policy by choosing to make wines from typical grape varieties.
From 1945, the policy was developed still further by the drawing of boundaries between the different vineyard areas and the introduction of strict production and vinification rules. Finally, its crowning glory came with the recognition of the "Appellations d'Origine Contrôlées Alsace" in 1962, "Alsace Grand Cru" in 1975 and "Crémant d'Alsace" in 1976.
Today Alsace has over 51 Grands Crus that are enjoyed far beyond the region's borders, along with a large number of Crémants that contribute to its sparkling nature.