Crémant d’Alsace

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Sparkling winemaking using the traditional method in Alsace dates from the late 19th century and in the 1980s became an important commercial activity, representing almost a quarter of the region’s output. Only the grape varieties Pinots Blanc, Noir, and Gris, together with the related Auxerrois, and Riesling and such Chardonnay as is planted in Alsace, may be used (i.e. no Gewurztraminer or Chasselas), and any rosé must be made entirely of Pinot Noir. Maximum yields are 80 hl/ha (4.5 tons/acre). The wines are well made, tend to have a particularly fine mousse, high acidity, and to be relatively light in body. Only if substantial proportions of Riesling are used do they acquire strong flavour. Production is in the hands of nearly 500 different small-scale producers whose blending capability is usually limited. A total of 3,523 ha/8,705 acres were devoted to the wine in 2012.