The Alsace wine-growing area, sheltered from oceanic influences by the Vosges mountain range and with one of the lowest rainfalls in France (500 to 600 mm of water annually), has a semi-continental climate which is sunny, warm and dry.
The natural barrier of the Vosges protects the vineyards and contributes to the very Alsace-specific climate.
On one hand it limits the oceanic influences and accentuates the climate continentality (very hot summers and cold winters). The degree of temperatures favourable to vines (above 10°C during the growing season) are therefore reinforced.
On the other hand, the strong winds from the west give abundant rainfall on the western slopes of the Vosges which become dry winds upon arriving on the vineyards. The low amount of annual rain, an average of between 600 and 650 mm, reduces the risks of rots and thus allows for less vineyard treatment.
Finally, the Alsace climate is distinct due to the alternation of hot days and chilly night during the autumn, perfect conditions for slow and extended grape ripening.
This privileges the development of complex aromas and maintains a ripe acidity which provides freshness to wines.