Established in 1976, 'AOC CRÉMANT D'ALSACE represents a quarter of the Vins d'Alsace production.
Sparkling wines made using the traditional method
The original personality and unblemished quality of Crémant d’Alsace have had resounding success not only in Alsace but also in other French regions and with our European neighbours. Today the Crémant d’Alsace has become the top AOC sparkling wine to be consumed in homes across France after Champagne.
At the end of the 19th century, several Alsace-based wine-making businesses produced sparkling wines using the traditional method. This usage was less prevalent during the first half of the 20th century but was continued until the creation of AOC Crémant d’Alsace by a decree on August 24, 1976.
This decree provided the necessary framework for Vins d’Alsace wine houses to produce quality sparkling wine applying strict standards comparable to those required by professionals in the Champagne region. Today there are over 500 producers who belong to the Syndicate of Crémant d’Alsace Producers (Syndicat des Producteurs de Crémant d’Alsace).
Some Crémants are solely made from one grape variety which is indicated on the label.
For others, they are made from a congenial blend of several varieties with each contributing to the subtle balance of the cuvée.
- Pinot Blanc is the major varietal used for white Crémants d’Alsace. It provides freshness and tenderness.
- Riesling produces Crémants with lively and fruity touches full of elegance and generosity.
- Pinot Gris is flavourful and full-bodied.
- Chardonnay delivers fine and light touches.
- Pinot Noir is the only grape variety used to produce Crémants d’Alsace rosés. It is also used to produce Blancs de Noirs (the skin of Pinot Noir grapes is dark but its flesh is white), bursting with allure and finesse.
- The vintage Crémants are often aged for a longer time bestowing a full-bodied character with hints of butter and brioche.
In their quest to produce glowing, elegant and fruity wines, the Alsace wine-growers choose relatively early harvesting dates, benefiting from the lively and radiant character of plump grapes. The berries must be harvested whole and placed in their entirety on the presses.
The'art of vinification
After traditional fermentation, bubbles are naturally produced within the bottles themselves thanks to a second fermentation. After an ageing period on what is referred to as lees, which must be over nine months, the bottles are turned daily on their ends allowing the deposit to remain in the neck until they are disgorged. After the deposit evacuates, the volume lost is replaced by a liqueur dosage for brut, extra-brut or semi-dry, undertaken with a rigorous respect for the method.