The SOMM Journal

August / September 2015

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Page 66 of 132

66 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 { france } THE AVERAGE WINE DRINKER MAY ASSOCIATE FRENCH WINES WITH Bordeaux, Champagne and Burgundy, but most curious enophiles eventually discover the distinctive wines from the centuries-old wine-production region of Alsace. Thanks to the Helfrich family, there are many new reasons for American sommeliers, beverage directors and consumers to rediscover or get to know Alsace more intimately. The best of those "reasons" are produced within Helfrich's holdings. The House of Arthur Metz, near Marlenheim in northern Alsace, is noteworthy for being the first distributor of the Crémant d'Alsace sparkling wine. Domaine Viticole de la Ville de Colmar, meanwhile, encompasses the Domaine de la Ville de Colmar, Clos St-Jacques and Hospices de Colmar properties. The breadth and depth of these properties, along with the Scharrachbergheim Fermenting Room and the Epfig Vinification Center, allow Helfrich to cover the entire expanse of Alsatian wine country and work collaboratively with more than 500 vineyard owners. Noted as one of the northernmost wine production regions in France and Europe, Alsace extends 75 miles and is only a few miles wide, with vineyards occupying about 15,500 hectares. The small space blankets a line of hills of the lower Vosges mountain range, at an average altitude of between 650 and 1,320 feet. With predominantly southern and southeastern exposures, and the elevated height of the vines, its best-known varietals—Riesling, Gewurztraminer A MODEL FOR THE REGION, HELFRICH WINS NEW CONSUMERS WITH FINESSE AND FLAIR by Elyse Glickman A Renaissance in Alsace Winemaker Nicolas Haeffelin examines grapes destined for the Helfrich Grand Cru Steinklotz Gewurztraminer. The Helfrich Crémant d'Alsace is a sparkling Pinot Blanc.

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