Alsace
: Winemaking

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

As in Germany, winemakers measure the sugar content of the grapes, or must weight, in degrees oechsle. chaptalization, always outlawed for late-harvest wines (see below) and, since 2011, for AOC Alsace Grand Cru, is now relatively rare, even for AOC Alsace, thanks to climate change. Indigenous yeasts are generally sufficient, and few winemakers add yeast cultures, except in an abnormally wet vintage. acidification is not practised.

The number of different varieties, all to be vinified separately, can present a logistical problem. Small operations with one press (usually a bladder press, which gives cleaner juice) will organize picking to allow each variety sufficient time in the press before the next variety is picked.