Recognised in 1962, ' today the protected designation of origin AOC ALSACE represents ' over 70% of the production including 90% of white wines.
In 2011, 'AOC ALSACE was supplemented with two geographical names: the Communales (villages) and the "Lieux-dits (localities)."
In 1935, a first decree put the French AOCs (Appellation d‘Origine Contrôlée) on the map. But negotiations with a certifying body, the INAO (Institut National des Appellations d‘Origine), were suspended due to the annexation of Alsace by Germany during the Second World War.
At the end of the war, the ruling of 1945, prepared by the Association of Alsace Winemakers (Association des Viticulteurs d‘Alsace), established the Alsace-based appellation. However, it was only in 1962 that the AOC appellation was officially instituted by a decree.
AOC Alsace is for wines made with grapes from parcels having precisely stipulated boundaries based on historical growing areas.
AOC Alsace wines can be made from only one grape variety. In this case, the grape name can be mentioned on the label. They can also come from a blend of several grape varieties, sometimes called Edelzwicker.
AOC Alsace wines are always sold in a Wine of the Rhine-shaped bottle, called Flute of Alsace which must be used by law. Since 1972, they must be bottled in their production region.
AOC Alsace wines are subject to continuous control (organoleptic as well as for the production means: vineyards and cellars) by an independent organisation governed by the INAO. A specifications book defines the winemaker obligations regarding vine training, varietals planted, yields, harvest …
Since October 2011, for wines with a specific typicity and meeting higher standards, the name of AOC can be supplemented by:
A communal geographical name
This name meets the stringent production standards which are more restrictive than for regional appellations: varietals planted, vine density, pruning, trellising, grape maturity, yields. 14 communes or inter-communal entities were also given defined boundaries and can be indicated on labels in addition to the AOC Alsace: Bergheim, Blienschwiller, Côtes de Barr, Côte de Rouffach, Coteaux du Haut-Koenigsbourg, Klevener de Heiligenstein, Ottrott, Rodern, Saint-Hippolyte, Scherwiller, Vallée Noble, Val Saint-Grégoire, Wolxheim.
A name of a lieu-dit
This allows to distinguish quality production by highlighting the terroir-specific characteristics, and applying production standards even more stringent that for the Communal appellations. Wines from these localities express several nuances: the fruitiness of grape varieties blends with the distinct terroir minerality.
AOCs attached to a municipality or locality
Since October 2011 it has been possible, for wines that comply with higher standards and a specific typicality, to add one of the following to the AOC designation:
Name of a municipality
This designation indicates that the wine meets specific production requirements and higher constraints than for a regional designation, in terms of grape varieties, vine density, training and pruning, grape ripeness and yield.
The names of 13 municipalities and intermunicipal organisations with strictly demarcated boundaries, can be added to the label of AOC wines from Alsace:
- Côtes de Barr
- Côte de Rouffach
- Klevener de Heiligenstein
- Saint Hippolyte
- Vallée Noble
- Val Saint Grégoire
- Coteaux du Haut-Koenigsbourg
Name of a locality
Again, the aim is to identify high-quality wines that highlight the specific characteristics of the terroir, by imposing rules of production that are even more strict than for AOCs bearing the name of a municipality.
Wines from these localities offer sublte expressions in a blend of the variety's fruit notes and the minerality of the terroir.
Varieties authorised in AOC Alsace
|Sylvaner||Pinot Blanc||Pinot Noir||Gewurztraminer||Riesling||Muscat||Pinot Gris||Chasselas||Auxerrois||Savagnin Rose|
|AOC Alsace Lieu-Dit|
|AOC Alsace Communale|
|Côtes de BARR|
|Côte de Rouffach|
|Klevener de Heiligenstein|
|Val St Grégoire|
|Coteaux du haut-Koenigsbourg|
- White fresh & dry
- White vigorous & intense