Wines from Alsace – are they more German or more French? Well, they’re a little of both, owing not the least to its geographical location on France’s eastern border and on the west bank of the upper Rhine adjacent to Germany. Vines have been cultivated in Alsace for more than 2,000 years, thanks to the nearby Rhine river, and was an important wine producing region in the Germanic Holy Roman Empire. The Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648), the French Revolution (1789), the Napoleonic Wars and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 caused the steady decline of the Alsace wine region. In fact, over the past few centuries several Franco-German conflicts have managed to relocate the border, making Alsace variously German then French. Thus, it’s no wonder the wines reflect so much of both countries.
Justly famous for its white wines, grape varieties here include: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris, and Sylvaner. The terroir is varied, with mostly chalky soils as well as a heavier clay soil that nurtures Gewurztraminer best.
Join us as we talk with Etienne Hugel, whose family ties to the vineyards of Alsace extends back to 1639. We’ll hear a bit of history, vineyard and winemaking practices, and Etienne’s “noble mission” to continue to produce some of the world’s finest white wines.
For more information on the wines of Hugel & Fils: www.hugel.com/
Sponsor: 7th Annual Celebration of Food and Wine : www.balboabayclub.com
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(1:17:12 min 55MB)