AOC Alsace was created in 1962. The wines are made from grapes
grown on parcels with precisely stipulated boundaries, based on historical growing areas.
The wines of AOC Alsace, in which the grape variety typically appears on the label, are comprised of 100% of that varietal. Where not indicated, the wine is typically a blend of several grape varietals, sometimes called “Edelzwicker” or “Gentil”, or bearing a brand name.
Corresponding geographical information may also be included on the label :
- a communal geographical name : wines with a communal geographical name need to meet stringent production standards. 13 communal
names are allowed: Bergheim, Blienschwiller, Saint-Hippolyte, Côtes de Barr Scherwiller, Côte de Rouffach, Côteaux du Haut Koenigsbourg, Vallée Noble, Klevener de Heiligenstein, Val Saint-Grégoire, Ottrott, Wolxheim, Rodern.
- the name of a lieu-dit : A lieu-dit is a name given locally to a plot of land or vineyard within a larger appellation. Wines from these areas also need to meet stringent production standards, which include varietals planted, vine density, pruning, trellising, grape maturity and yields. The standards are stricter than for Communal appellations.
AOC Alsace wines (with the exception of Crémant d’Alsace) are always sold in a “Wine of the Rhine” shaped bottle, known as the “Flute”, which must be used by law. Since 1972, these wines must be bottled in their region of production.
All Alsace AOC wines are subject to a quality control via an independent organisation governed by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine.
AOC Alsace represents 74% of the region’s wine production, of which 92% are white wines.