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August 8, 2008

Alsace Unveils 51st Grand Cru

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

NEW YORK, NY — On January 12, 2007 Alsace was granted an AOC 51st Grand Cru, the Kaefferkopf of Ammerschwihr, a 175 acre swath of land in the heart of the Alsace region. Renowned for ideal climatic conditions for growing Alsace’s signature grape varietals, Kaefferkopf vineyards also benefit from a very specific geologic makeup, as they’re linked to a substratum that is partly granite and partly limestone.

Kaefferkopf wines are crafted exclusively from Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris or Riesling grapes, respectively. They can also be composed of a blend of those varietals, plus Muscat , in the following proportions:
* Between 60% and 80% Gewurztraminer
* Between 10% and 40% Riesling
* Under 30% Pinot Gris
* And a maximum of 10% Muscat (in either Ottonel, the small white grape, or the small pink grape varieties)
* Each varietal may be vinified separately before blending

“This lieu-dit (locality) has found its place among the Grands Crus of Alsace. Indeed, it benefits from a decree of delimitation dating from 1932, which proves the characteristics of its terroir. In addition, the use of the name “Kaefferkopf” goes back several centuries,” says Thierry Fritsch, Oenologist in the Education Department of the CIVA (Alsace Wine Council). “The fact alone that for a hundred years the winemakers mainly worked on these blends, is what makes the unique characteristics of these wines. Originality, consistency and the terroir are what distinguishes a Grand Cru wine.”

The 2007 Kaefferkopf wines, the first vintage under Grand Cru status, are hitting the market this summer, offering consumers their first chance to see why the Kaefferkopf of Ammerschwihr has joined 50 other celebrated Alsace regions in attaining the vaunted Grand Cru designation.

For more information on Kaefferkopf and other Alsace wines and vineyards, please visit www.alsacewine.com.

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