Just like the countryside across which it winds, over the centuries, the Alsace wine region has progressively strengthened its own natural advantages.
Its geographic situation, at the intersection between Germanic and Roman influences, tells its own story: a culture dating from the Roman era, revitalized by Merovingians and Carolingiens who consumed great quantities of what they referred to as “this stimulating tonic that makes you happy”. By the end of the first millennium, 160 Alsace villages were already growing vines and, by the Middle Ages, the wines of Alsace were among the most highly prized in all of Europe.
Winegrowing in Alsace reached its peak in the 16th century. This period of prosperity was brutally interrupted by the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), which devastated the region. Pillaged, depopulated and ravaged by disease, all commercial activity declined dramatically. The re-birth of viticulture in Alsace came three centuries later, after the First World War, when winegrowers adopted a policy of “quality first” and decided to produce wines only from the regional, high-quality grape varieties.
From 1945 onwards, this policy was reinforced by delimitation of the vineyard area, and by the strict enforcement of legislation regarding production and vinification. Finally, these efforts were officially rewarded with Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée status: AOC Alsace in 1962, AOC Alsace Grand Cru in 1975 and AOC Crémant d’Alsace in 1976. Today, joined together by the CIVA*, producers and negociants alike combine their efforts to promote the overall image of Alsace wines throughout the world.