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The complantation (art of blending grape varietals in one Terroir) is the most original practice of viticulture in Europe. Long before the winemakers knew about the varieties and become scholar ampelographers, the complantation assumes a regular harvest as noted by Olivier de Serres in his book "The Theatre of agriculture and husbandry fields" (1600 ). Closer to our ear (1852), Jean-Louis Stolz characterized more than 100 grape varieties that cultivars planted in the vineyard in Alsace and described specific complantations in the greatest terroirs of Alsace (Sporen, Schoenenbourg Sonnenglanz, Zotzenberg, Kastelberg, Kaefferkopf). At that time, there were very few pure vineyard, the wine makers gradually realized a real adaptation of a complex vines in the terroir by layering technique (replace artistically a dead vine by its resistant neighbor better adapted) .


While the grape variety has always been optional for AOC Alsace (Order 1945) and many plots on hillsides were still co-planted in the 60s, the introduction of the legislation which requires the mention of grape variety for Grand Cru (1975 ) can be considered as a historical mistake because it has resulted in a dramatic loss of biodiversity of vineyards, establishment of productive clones and a shift in all varieties. Fortunately, some winemakers have the perseverance and obstinacy, and in 2005, to reform this unjust law (the grape variety is now entirely optional for AOC Alsace and the Grand Cru).

Now it’s time for us to re-discover the original encépagements of Grands Terroirs in Alsace!