Alsace’s producers are hoping to use the high quality 2013 vintage to increase their presence in the UK.
‘It’s the most classic recent vintage, with the right balance of sunshine,’ said Foulques Aulagnon of the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d’Alsace (CIVA). ‘It has great acidity, but it’s riper than 2008 or 2010, which tasted hard when they were young. There’s great material inside each wine.’
For the last year, the CIVA has been working with the Great British Chefs website, an online consumer magazine for food-lovers, but the plan now is to drive greater awareness of the region’s complexities within the on-trade.
‘We are still a niche, but we need to be more present within restaurants,’ admitted Aulagnon.
Currently, the UK languishes in 9th place in the region’s wine exports, behind Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, though the average price per bottle is the highest anywhere.
‘The UK’s consumers don’t hesitate to buy grand crus and lieux-dits,’ said Aulagnon. ‘And Riesling is an emblematic grape – made for food pairing. We just don’t want it to be confused with German Riesling.’
This year, Alsace picked up 12 medals in the Sommelier Wine Awards: two Gold, five Silver and five Bronze, and the CIVA is hoping that an increased presence in the competition next year will lead to a big increase in top awards – and to on-trade awareness.
They are also planning to take a group of sommeliers out to Millésimes Alsace on 13 June 2016.
A giant one-day expo, with over 90 exhibitors from across the appellation and featuring regular masterclasses, the Millésimes Alsace 2014 event attracted on-trade luminaries such as Ronan Sayburn MS, Xavier Rousset MS, Hamish Anderson and Christine Parkinson.
Sommeliers interested in visiting should contact Alison Mann at Emma Wellings PR on 020 8996 5168 or Alison@ew-pr.co.uk.