Alsace, the fairytale French wine region that straddles between France and Germany, is among a few wine regions that earned its renown through its steely and age-worthy white wines than reds. It is also, just as it happens the number one biodynamic wine region in Europe.
Located in the northeastern part of France about the size of Chicago in the US, 89% of its wines produced are white, dominated by Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. But for today’s consumers who are becoming more health conscious, the region’s “green and clean” wines are perhaps its biggest calling cards.
Alsace is among the first wine regions in Europe to embrace organic and biodynamic winemaking. About 35% of its 38,000 acres of vineyard area are certified organic or in conversion. In 2021, Alsace had 109 wine estates that are certified biodynamic (3.3% of its total producers), the pioneer region in France and the first in Europe.
This September, the region’s wine association Vins d’Alsace will for the first time stage a monthlong promotion in Hong Kong titled ‘Alsace Rocks’ following its successful run in Japan and the US, to convince the Asian city’s savvy consumers why Alsace wines should no longer be overlooked.
The region’s diverse terroir and soils, including its natural ‘rocks’; 13 distinct soil types from eight mother rocks, from volcanic to limestone to clay, making Alsace one of the world’s most geologically diverse regions.
Primarily known for its world-class white wines, its seven main varieties are: dry Riesling, earthy Pinot Gris, refreshing Pinot Blanc, spicy Gewurztraminer, elegant Pinot Noir, aromatic Muscat and delicate Sylvaner.
Located between the Vosges Mountains and Rhine River, this ten-mile-wide, 80-miles long strip of land is protected from westerly rains, making it one of the driest areas in France. This essentially means less disease pressure, laying the groundwork for organic and biodynamic farming.
It’s no surprise why Alsace wine exports are booming. Its total exports in 2021 climbed by 15.5% in volume compared with 2019, and exports to Hong Kong in particular jumped by 32.7%, encouragingly.
On 22 September, wine lovers in Hong Kong will have the opportunity to taste an array or iconic Alsace wines in a masterclass led by Master Sommelier Darius Allyn. Following the masterclass will be a tasting showcasing over 50 wines from its appellations: AOC Alsace, AOC Crémant d’Alsace, and AOC Alsace Grand Cru. Rock samples from Alsace will be on display which were specially flown over direct from Alsace for the event.
Additionally, during the monthlong promotion, leading retailers in the city will have special offerings for Alsace wines online or at their stores. Participating merchants include East Meets West, Watson’s Wine, Links Concept, Jebsen Fine Wines, Ponti Wine Cellar, and more.
However, 2021 vintage marks the smallest vintage for Alsace in over 10 years, with only 105 million bottles produced, which means supply will be tight and the monthlong promotion will be a good opportunity for importers and consumers to discover some gems and stock up.
For more information, please visit www.AlsaceRocksHK.com.