The wine industry is most definitely a commercial venture. Many of the Alsatian wine styles that I remember from thirty years ago are probably gone at least for the forseeable future. Here are five changes that have taken place in the last thirty years:
1. Whereas Pinot Blanc used to be the most widely planted grape in Alsace, now Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Gewurztraminer all command about 20% each of vineyard space. Pinot Grigio and Auxerrois Blanc are under 20% and Sylvaner and Muscat are under 10% each. Varying estimates somehow make these total 100%. Pinot Gris plantings have been increased by 10% in recent years.
2. In the last twenty five years vineyard space, itself, has increased by 25%.
3. Much of the Grand Cru vineyard production now goes into dessert wines.
4. Biodynamic viticulture is very much the trend in Alsace as elsewhere. The Kuentz-Bas white in the store is biodynamic.
5. Alsatian whites are now promoted as Asian cuisine-friendly. Alsatian charcuterie beware.
And what the heck is Klevener de Heiligenstein? We'll save that one for next time.