Alsace wine region – great white wines

Alsace – Introduction

The Alsace wine region lies in the north east corner of France on the border with Germany and Switzerland to the east and the Jura region to the south. It is here that Riesling is the most revered grape variety, although other varieties such as Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Auxerrois are also widely planted here.

We have a ritual for driving to Alsace (there is also a very good fast train service from Paris). We spend some time in Burgundy and Champagne visiting our producers and then drive to the Lorraine city of Nancy where we always enjoy a very simple evening meal at l’Echanson which serves simple French food and an excellent range of natural wines.

Sometimes we ask the staff to open their wine shop which is immediately opposite with an old sign Cordonnerie still prominently displayed. Here they can guide you to some interesting wines from the local area.

The next morning we head for our meetings in Alsace via the incredibly beautiful Vosges mountains. If we are running late we might take the N4/A4 which takes us in to Strasbourg from the north or if we want to enjoy the spectacular scenery then we opt for the N59 then turn onto the D1420 which takes us very close to the village of Rosheim where Jean-Marc Dreyer tends his profusion of vineyards.

There are some good photos, maps and information about the Alsace region here but nothing about natural wines!

Alsace producers

We have three producers in this region:

Domaine Jean Ginglinger

The Ginglinger family is a producer of natural wines based in the central Alsace village of Pfaffenheim which lies 12 kilometres south of Colmar where they care for 6.5 hectares of prime sites including two parcels in the Grand Cru vineyards of Steinert and Pfingstberg which is near the village of Orschwihr (which, in turn, is half way between Colmar and Mullhouse). The family are not recent arrivals having been involved in viticulture here since 1610!!!


Domaine Geschickt

Domaine Geschickt is an exciting producer from Ammerschwihr in Alsace just north of Colmar who have been farming biodynamically since 1998. The small village of Ammerschwihr lies in a beautiful valley that is quite close to the pleasant town of Colmar in a northerly direction and is surrounded by grape vines that include the Grand Cru vineyards of Kaefferkopf  and Wineck-Schlossberg.


Jean-Marc Dreyer

We first met Jean Marc Dreyer from the village of Rosheim in Alsace a number of years ago at a winter salon in the tiny village of Glaine-Montaigut in the hills to the east of the Auvergne city of Clermont-Ferrand.

It is a small salon, but we always meet interesting vignerons there and Jean-Marc was no exception. We were incredibly impressed with the purity of his wines and his work with maceration that lifted the wines to another level.