Fourteen communal appellations in AOC Alsace

vineyards at KaysersbergThe French Institut National de l’origine et de la qualité (INAO) may decide in November to recognize fourteen new municipal appellations in Alsace, reports the French newspaper Le Pays. The AOC Alsace will receive a similar pyramidal AOC hierarchy as AOC Languedoc. The new communal appellations is positioned above the overall AOC Alsace and below the AOC Alsace Grands Cru. The new appellation only applies to certain types of grapes that are planted in the best vineyards of the communes: Riesling for Scherwiller and Wolxheim, pinot noir for Rodem, Saint-Hippolyte and Ottrott, gewurtztraminer for Bergheim, Sylvaner for Blienschwiller and the Côtes de Barr; Riesling and gewurtztraminer for coteau du Haut-Koenigsberg, Auxerrois, Pinot blanc and pinot gris for Val Saint Gregoire, Riesling, gewurtztraminer and pinot gris for Rohrschwihr and Vallée Noble, Riesling, gewurtztraminer, pinot gris and pinot noir for the Côtes de Rouffach. On the label the relevant village and grape will both be mentioned, for example ‘Riesling the Scherwiller’ or ‘Pinot Noir des Côtes de Rouffach’. The new appellation also provides a number of winemaking rules. Thus, the yields are limited to 72 hl / ha for white wines and 65 hl / ha for red wines. Riesling can contain up to 7 g / l residual sugar. Chaptalisation (adding of sugar to augment alcohol levels) is still allowed, but limited to 1.5 degrees alcohol for a wine with minimum 11 degrees alcohol. Eventually in Alsace AOC the same AOC hierarchy as in Burgundy will arise: grands crus, premiers crus (now ‘lieux-dits’ on some Alsace labels), communal appellations and regional appellations.