The region of Alsace updated its classification system in 2011. The permitted grapes are Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Riesling, and Pinot Gris, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Pinot Blanc, Savagnin rosé, Sylvaner, and Pinot Noir. Almost 80% of the wine production in the region is Alsace AOP and it is nearly all white wine. Wines are required to be bottled in the region’s official "riesling" tall cone-shaped bottle. Some Alsace AOP labels include a geographical commune name others specific lieu-dits.
AOC Alsace wines are generally varietal driven, meaning that grape variety is shown on the label. When no grape variety is indicated on the label, the wine is typically a blend.
AOC Alsace blend “Edelzwicker” can be a blend of any grapes allowed within the AOC. There is no grape minimum; the different varieties may be vinified together or separately. While the denomination “Gentil d’Alsace” is reserved for AOC superior quality wines. This blend must be 50% of noble grapes: Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris, and/or Gewurztraminer, the rest made up of Sylvaner, Chasselas, Pinot Blanc, and/or Auxerrois. Each grape variety must be vinified separately.
Alsace has 51 Grand Cru AOP’s, each one has its own standards or rules, such as allowed yields and varieties.
In general Alsace white wines are made from aromatic grape varieties, so wines tend to be floral and spicy. Some producers only produce totally dry wines but each producer has its own style. The sweet Alsace style wines are labeled Vendage Tardives (late harvests) and Sélection de Grains Nobles (Noble rot).