Grapes at Domaine Leduc-Frouin

ripening grapes in the Loire

ripening grapes in the Loire

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Discover the wines of Alsace on video

Hugel's Alsace Man
Having been in the wine trade, we still get our share of Christmas Greetings from France – often these are fairly formal affairs – often a glorified business card – although some are more personal and entertaining. One that stood out was from Hugel, one of the very best names in Alsace.
This led me to re-visit the website at (www.hugel.com) where there are some really good videos (in English too) available to view or download. You can learn all about Alsace and its wines (did you know that Alsace is the driest wine region in France!) and of course about Hugel’s wines.
Alsace is something of an enigma with numerous contradictions – it’s French/German history and culture; the dry aromatic French wines in Germanic bottles with Germanic typefaces; the preponderance (and high quality) of the co-operative cellars and the mosaic of different terroirs. Alone in France, Alsace wines are identified by grape variety – predominantly Riesling, Gewurztraminer but also Tokay Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner and Muscat (and a little Pinot Noir red), although increasingly the best wines are also identified by the addition of “lieu dit” – often specific vineyard plots which have been officially recognised as providing superior quality.
Alsace also produces a blend – Edelzwicker – which to my mind is best avoided – the blend disguises the varetal character which is Alsace’s strength.
Alsace would make a perfect accompaniment to Turkey or Goose – particularly a fine Riesling would offer a nice crisp edge against the richness of the food.
Unfortunately Alsace is not particularly cheap – but good wines do offer consistent value for money – the Wine Society has a good range.

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